Melbourne Victory 1-1 Melbourne City: Brooks strikes in injury time to ward off A-League wooden spoon

By Sports Desk June 06, 2021

Melbourne Victory equalised with almost the final kick of the game as they held A-League Premiers Melbourne City to a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

City were on a three-match winning run in the derby and had won the previous meetings this season 6-0 and 7-0, leaving them just two short of the competition record for goals against the same opponent in a single campaign.

However, it took until the 54th minute for City to find the breakthrough – Nicholas Ansell turning the ball into his own net following Naoki Tsubaki's cross from the right.

Victory striker Rudy Gestede fired over when given a good chance to level and a fine save from Tom Glover denied the former Aston Villa man four minutes later.

City thought they had settled the contest as the clock ticked towards 90 minutes, but a VAR review disallowed Anthony Lesiotis' tap-in for offside.

The home side continued to push for a leveller and it came in the fifth minute of injury time, substitute Lleyton Brooks firing a half-volley into the top-right corner after City failed to clear a corner.

Victory's cheers resounded around the empty stands of AAMI Park as the result means they are one point above Newcastle Jets at the foot of the table.

They will avoid the wooden spoon if the Jets are beaten in their final match with City, a game which was postponed last month due to lockdown restrictions in Melbourne.

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    The England midfielder, making his return from injury, thought he had headed home a cross deep into stoppage time at the Mestalla but the referee had already blown for full time.

    Real players surrounded the official in a chaotic aftermath and Bellingham was shown the red card before the players left the field.

    It made for a dramatic ending to a compelling LaLiga clash in which the leaders had fought back from 2-0 down with two Vinicius Junior goals.

    Valencia had stunned Carlo Ancelotti’s side by pouncing on two mistakes to score twice in quick succession through Hugo Duro and Roman Yaremchuk.

    The result meant Real missed the chance to move nine points clear at the top and second-placed Girona will have the chance to cut the gap when they play Mallorca on Sunday.

    It was an emotional night for Valencia, who were returning to action for the first time since a deadly fire in their city, with tributes paid to victims and other people affected before kick-off.

    The game got off to a slow start as the visitors struggled to create any meaningful opportunities despite dominating possession.

    It was not until the 23rd minute that Real caused any alarm in the Valencia box as Vinicius, returning to a ground where he was racially abused last season, went down under a challenge from Dimitri Foulquier. No penalty was given.

    Valencia took the lead against the run of play in the 27th minute after Real lost possession.

    There was an element of fortune about it as Foulquier crossed to the far post and Fran Perez miskicked his attempt to clip back across goal. Duro, who had not been expecting the ball, reacted quickly to head home.

    Dani Carvajal then compounded the setback moments later with an underhit backpass that Yaremchuk seized upon to round Andriy Lunin and slot in.

    Real recovered and Bellingham, back in the side after three weeks out, created a chance for Federico Valverde but Giorgi Mamardashvili was equal to his effort.

    The pressure paid off in first-half stoppage time as a Carvajal cross took deflections off a defender and Mamardashvili and found its way to Vinicius for a simple tap-in.

    Real upped the tempo after the break and Vinicius lashed a shot wide before Bellingham, who has enjoyed a stunning first season at the Spanish giants, wrong-footed the defence and forced Mamardashvili to save with his legs.

    Diego Lopez brought a good save from Lunin at the other end but further Real pressure paid off when Vinicius rose to head in a Brahim Diaz cross.

    There was a long delay late on after Valencia’s Mouctar Diakhaby suffered a serious-looking injury and was carried off on a stretcher.

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  • Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls Giannis becomes Milwaukee's winningest player as Bucks cruise past Bulls

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    Antetokounmpo surpassed the 40-point mark for the eighth time this season, also adding 16 rebounds and six assists, as the Bucks recorded their fifth straight victory.

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    Pep Guardiola has thanked Sir Jim Ratcliffe for ‘helping him do his job’ by stating his admiration for Manchester City.

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    He even went as far as to say City’s 4-0 demolition of Real Madrid in last season’s Champions League semi-finals was “the best quality of football I’ve ever seen”.

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    The City manager, whose side host United on Sunday, said: “I just say thank you so much.

    “Sometimes they are more than the titles, the compliments of the personalities that make this country, like Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s comments. It is a complete honour for us.

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    He said: “Do you remember when United went to Anfield this season? Last season it was 7-0.

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    “In different situations, with City in the position of United, I know my players would behave at Old Trafford with pride and the best character. It is going to happen to United on Sunday.

    “It will be a tough game, another final for us. I know how difficult it will be.

    “It has been more difficult here than at Old Trafford in our period together. We lost more (derby) games here than Old Trafford. We have to perform really well to do it.”

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