Melbourne Victory coach Tony Popovic said A-League leaders Melbourne City remain the team to beat this season despite his side handing the reigning champions a 3-0 defeat on Saturday.
Three goals in 20 minutes gave Popovic’s side a third straight win and moved them up to third in the standings, 12 points adrift of leaders City but with four games in hand.
”I said all week derby games are special,” said Popovic, who took over as Victory coach prior to the start of the season.
”You only get three points, but we understand that. We haven’t had a win over Melbourne City for a while.
”We’ve had two draws (against City this season), we feel we’ve improved in each game from the first game to the second and today we improved again and today we deserved to win.
”They’re still well in front, they’re still the best team but with the performance in today’s derby we deserved to win.”
Jake Brimmer put Victory in front from the penalty spot in the seventh minute before a spectacular double from Marco Rojas effectively sealed the points inside the first half-hour.
The New Zealander’s dipping strike from distance gave Tom Glover no chance in the City goal in the 14th minute while Rojas’ second left the custodian grasping at air while at full stretch 13 minutes later.
Victory have undergone a significant turnaround since Popovic was appointed last June, with the club now up to third after finishing bottom of the 12-team standings last season and are on track to qualify for the post-season finals.
”You’re always searching for more and I hope the players want more too,” said Popovic.
”We continued to look threatening, we continued to create opportunities and I’m very happy that we kept another clean sheet against such a good team.”