The Big Blue (A-League)

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The Big Blue
Pre-Game Sydney FC 2-0 Melbourne Victory Round 27 14.02.2010.JPG
Locale Melbourne / Sydney (Australia)
Teams Melbourne Victory,
Sydney FC
First meeting 28 August 2005
Latest meeting Sydney FC 2–4 Melbourne Victory (14 Nov 2015)
Statistics
Meetings total 37
Most wins Melbourne Victory FC (12)
Regular season series 31
Postseason results 5
Largest victory

Melbourne Victory 5-0 Sydney
(16 October 2005)

Melbourne Victory 0-5 Sydney FC
(26 January 2014)

The Big Blue,[1] also known as The City Derby,[2] is a match in Australia's premier soccer competition, the A-League. It is contested between rivals Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory. While the main colour of both teams are shades of the colour blue, in Australian English the word "blue" can also mean "a fight, brawl or heated argument".[3]

History[edit]

Regional rivals[edit]

Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory FC were destined to become major rivals at the inception of the A-League due to the historic regional rivalry between the cities that each represent. At the time, the A-League operated under the "one-team, one-city"[4] model, so the rivalry was almost instantaneous. The cities of Sydney and Melbourne have had a long-standing rivalry that dates back to pre-Federation Australia. Such was the rivalry, that neither city was chosen as the capital of Australia when federation occurred in 1901. Instead Melbourne served as a temporary capital until the permanent capital of Canberra, that was to be created closer to Sydney, was established. To this day, the two cities are generally competing for bragging rights to be Australia's premier city. Both believe they lay claim to this right as Sydney has been named world's best city by Condé Nast Traveler[5] and Melbourne has been named world's most liveable city by The Economist.[6] The Big Blue generally attracts some of the largest crowds and TV audiences of the regular season. Sydney and Melbourne are the two largest cities in Australia, with Sydney FC and Victory two of the league's most supported clubs and the rivalry was sparked by a number of highly competitive meetings between the two teams in early seasons.

Significant moments[edit]

The name has its origins in Australian slang, with "blue" meaning "fight" or "confrontation" and the fact that both clubs play in blue jerseys. The first competitive match between the two clubs was significantly played on the opening weekend of the inaugural 2005–06 A-League season. It was held on 28 August 2005 at Sydney FC's home ground, Sydney Football Stadium. Both teams were eager to stamp their authority as the biggest club in the league, with Sydney FC having already won the 2005 OFC Club Championship during pre-season. The match ended in a 1-all draw as Victory's first player signing and soon to become stalwart, Archie Thompson, cancelled out Sydney FC's marquee signing, Dwight Yorke's first half goal.[7] The second meeting on 16 October 2005 resulted in a landslide win for Victory at their then home ground, Olympic Park Stadium, defeating Sydney FC 5–0.[8] The result still stands as Sydney FC's worst defeat in this fixture.

The first encounter between the clubs during the 2006–07 A-League season (and fourth overall) entrenched the rivalry between the teams as passion and tension fueled the match. Sydney FC skipper, Mark Rudan was sent off after fourteen minutes and Victory player Fred elbowed Sydney FC defender Mark Milligan in the throat. Fred avoided sanction as he was substituted before the referee could see a replay on the big screen.[8] The ugly incident required urgent medical attention as it left Milligan struggling to breathe and there were fears he swallowed his tongue.[9] The following match in Melbourne, the sixth overall, set the record for attendance at an A-League match when 50,333 fans crammed into Etihad Stadium on 8 December 2006. The match ended in a nil-all draw.[8]

After sealing the 2010 Premiership at home on the final day of the season by beating Melbourne 2-0, Sydney FC went on to win the Championship Grand Final on penalties at Melbourne's home stadium.

The rivalry reached another level in 2011, with both teams in pursuit of the signature of Socceroo Harry Kewell pre-season. Melbourne Victory announced they had signed Kewell on 20 August and five days afterwards Sydney FC announced that they had signed Socceroo Brett Emerton from Blackburn Rovers. The teams played out a 0–0 stalemate in the first round of the 2011-12 A-League season, with Australia's head coach not picking either player for national duty, allowing the eagerly-anticipated match up to occur.

A Big Blue match has been played each Australia Day at either the Melbourne Rectangular Stadium or Docklands Stadium in Melbourne since the 2011–12 A-League season which ended in a 2–all draw. However, the 2014–15 A-League season did not feature this fixture due to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

Since 2012, the teams have played for the BeyondBlue Cup, which is awarded to the winning team in the Big Blue.[10] Sydney FC claimed the inaugural BeyondBlue Cup by defeating Melbourne Victory 1-0 at Allianz Stadium on 10 March 2012.

On 10 November 2012, Melbourne Victory came from 2–0 down to win 3–2 at Allianz Stadium, with two late goals from substitute player Andrew Nabbout helping them achieve the result. This match turned out of be Ian Crook's last match as Sydney FC manager, as he announced his resignation shortly after the defeat, which was Sydney's fourth in six games.

The fixture played 8 December 2006 holds the record for the highest attendance at a regular season match with 50,333 in attendance. Currently, three fixtures between the two sides make up the top ten of the League's highest regular season attendances.[11]

Head-to-head summary[edit]

Competition Played Melbourne Victory wins Draws Sydney FC wins
A-League 38 13 17 8
A-League (excl. finals) 33 10 16 7
A-League Finals (incl. Grand Final) 5 3 1 1
A-League Grand Finals 2 1 1
FFA Cup 0 0 0 0
Other 1 0 0 1
Total 39 13 17 9
As of 9 June 2016

All-time results[edit]

Regular season matches[edit]

# Date Home team Score Away team Goals (home) Goals (away) Venue Attendance
1 28 August 2005 Sydney
1 – 1
Melbourne Yorke (44) Thompson (72) Sydney Football Stadium 25,208
2 16 October 2005 Melbourne
5 – 0
Sydney Kitzbichler (34), Muscat (53, 78), Thompson (57, 69) Olympic Park Stadium 18,208
3 3 December 2005 Sydney
2 – 1
Melbourne Corica (24), Carney (81) Allsopp (88) Sydney Football Stadium 17,272
4 2 September 2006 Melbourne
3 – 2
Sydney Allsopp (8), (51) Muscat (p 11) Fyfe (18), Vargas (o.g. 83) Docklands Stadium 39,730
5 21 October 2006 Sydney
1 – 2
Melbourne Corica (8) Thompson (50, 73) Sydney Football Stadium 20,881
6 8 December 2006 Melbourne
0 – 0
Sydney Docklands Stadium 50,333
7 6 October 2007 Sydney
0 – 1
Melbourne Allsopp (82) Sydney Football Stadium 18,436
8 10 November 2007 Melbourne
0 – 0
Sydney Docklands Stadium 31,884
9 20 January 2008 Sydney
2 – 2
Melbourne Corica (4), Brosque (62) Milligan (o.g. 46), Allsopp (76) Sydney Football Stadium 33,458
10 16 August 2008 Sydney
0 – 0
Melbourne Sydney Football Stadium 16,227
11 25 October 2008 Melbourne
0 – 2
Sydney Bridge (20) Aloisi (62) Docklands Stadium 31,654
12 27 December 2008 Melbourne
3 – 2
Sydney Thompson (14), Ward (78), Ney Fabiano (80) Cole (1), Gan (4) Docklands Stadium 33,458
13 9 October 2009 Melbourne
0 – 3
Sydney Brosque (14), Bridge (17,19) Docklands Stadium 30,668
14 19 December 2009 Melbourne
0 – 0
Sydney Docklands Stadium 27,344
15 14 February 2010 Sydney
2 – 0
Melbourne Kisel (34), Aloisi (49) Sydney Football Stadium 25,407
16 7 August 2010 Sydney
3 – 3
Melbourne Brosque (36), McFlynn (54), Cole (85) Broxham (66), Dugandzic (67), Celeski (73) Sydney Football Stadium 12,106
17 16 October 2010 Melbourne
3 – 0
Sydney Vargas (20), Hernández (49), Kruse (90) Docklands Stadium 17,299
18 15 January 2011 Sydney
1 – 1
Melbourne Mäkelä (90) Allsopp (51) Sydney Football Stadium 11,387
19 8 October 2011 Melbourne
0 – 0
Sydney Docklands Stadium 40,351
20 26 January 2012 Melbourne
2 – 2
Sydney Cernak (45), Fabio (45+2) Cazarine (56), Ryall (90) Melbourne Rectangular Stadium 20,053
21 10 March 2012 Sydney
1 – 0
Melbourne Kisel (p 34) Sydney Football Stadium 18,180
22 10 November 2012 Sydney
2 – 3
Melbourne Yau (14), Bosschaart (48) Nabbout (75, 88), Thompson (83) Sydney Football Stadium 21,531
23 26 January 2013 Melbourne
3 – 1
Sydney Rojas (23, 73), Thompson (67) Griffiths (75) Melbourne Rectangular Stadium 26,882
24 16 March 2013 Sydney
1 – 1
Melbourne Yau (85) Milligan (3) Sydney Football Stadium 22,233
25 9 November 2013 Sydney
3 – 2
Melbourne Garcia (3), Ryall (15), Del Piero (p 37) Thompson (18), Troisi (27) Sydney Football Stadium 18,784
26 26 January 2014 Melbourne
0 – 5
Sydney Despotovic (11), Del Piero (p 20, 54), Ryall (25), Carle (87) Docklands Stadium 24,354
27 29 March 2014 Melbourne
1 – 1
Sydney Troisi (63) Chianese (48) Melbourne Rectangular Stadium 20,447
28 15 November 2014 Sydney
0 – 0
Melbourne Sydney Football Stadium 21,242
29 13 December 2014 Melbourne
3 – 3
Sydney Thompson (23, 47, 79) Janko (17), Smeltz (51, 76) Docklands Stadium 25,242
30 14 February 2015 Sydney
3 – 3
Melbourne Janko (p 8), Smeltz (p 73, 85) Barbarouses (34), Finkler (41), Ansell (78) Sydney Football Stadium 17,352
31 14 November 2015 Sydney
2 – 4
Melbourne Hološko (5), Brosque (20) Berisha (9, 90+2), Finkler (28), Barbarouses (68) Sydney Football Stadium 15,947
32 26 January 2016 Melbourne
1 – 0
Sydney Jurman (o.g. 79) Docklands Stadium 30,493
33 27 February 2016 Melbourne
1–1
Sydney Barbarouses (46) Carney (76) AAMI Park 20,112
League home record
Home Team Matches Wins Losses Draws
Melbourne
17 6 3 8
Sydney 16 4 4 8
Overall League Head to Head record
Matches Melbourne Victory wins Sydney FC wins Draws
33 10 7 16

Finals series matches[edit]

# Date Round Home team Score Away team Goals (home) Goals (away) Venue Attendance
1 18 February 2010 Semi Final 1st Leg Melbourne
2 – 1
Sydney Mrdja (16), Hernández (40) Aloisi (43) Docklands Stadium 28,453
2 7 March 2010 Semi Final 2nd Leg Sydney
2 – 2 AET
Melbourne Kisel (36 Pen), Bridge (54) Kruse (15), Thompson (114) Sydney Football Stadium 23,818
3 20 March 2010 Grand Final Melbourne
1 – 1 AET
2 – 4 pens
Sydney Leijer (81) Bridge (63) Docklands Stadium 44,560
4 18 April 2014 Elimination Final Melbourne
2 – 1
Sydney Thompson (19), Finkler (92) Ryall (33) Docklands Stadium 20,802
5 17 May 2015 Grand Final Melbourne
3 – 0
Sydney Berisha (33), Barbarouses (83), Broxham (90) AAMI Park 29,843
Finals home record
Home Team Matches Wins Losses Draws
Melbourne
4 3 1 0
Sydney 1 0 0 1
Overall Finals Head to Head record
Matches Melbourne Victory wins Sydney FC wins Draws
5 3 1 1

Leading goalscorers[edit]

Player Club Goals Scored
Australia Archie Thompson Melbourne 9
Australia Danny Allsopp Melbourne 5
Australia Mark Bridge Sydney 5
Australia Alex Brosque Sydney 4
Australia Sebastian Ryall Sydney 3
Italy Alessandro Del Piero Sydney 3
Australia John Aloisi Sydney 3
Australia Leigh Broxham Melbourne 2
Australia Shannon Cole Sydney 2
Australia Steve Corica Sydney 2
Costa Rica Carlos Hernandez Melbourne 2
Slovakia Karol Kisel Sydney 2
Australia Robbie Kruse Melbourne 2
Australia Andrew Nabbout Melbourne 2
Australia James Troisi Melbourne 2
New Zealand Kosta Barbarouses Melbourne 1
Albania Besart Berisha Melbourne 1
Australia David Carney Sydney 1
Australia Nick Carle Sydney 1
Australia Billy Celeski Melbourne 1
Serbia Ranko Despotović Sydney 1
Australia Mate Dugandžić Melbourne 1
Australia Joel Chianese Sydney 1
Brazil Ney Fabiano Melbourne 1
Australia Brendan Gan Sydney 1
Australia Richard Garcia Sydney 1
Austria Richard Kitzbichler Melbourne 1
Northern Ireland Terry McFlynn Sydney 1
Australia Nik Mrdja Melbourne 1
Australia Nick Ward Melbourne 1
Trinidad and Tobago Dwight Yorke Sydney 1
  • BOLD indicates player still playing for that club.

Players who played for both clubs[edit]

Player Nation Melbourne Sydney
Sebastian Ryall
Australia
2007–2009 2009–
Mark Milligan
Australia
2012–2015 2005–2008
Fabio
Brazil
2011–2012 2012–2013
Danny Vukovic
Australia
2015—2016 2016—

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.foxsports.com.au/football/a-league/marquees-deflate-salvage-mission-rather-than-glory-quest-for-duo-soccer/story-e6frf4gl-1226295621489
  2. ^ Di Fabbio, Robbie (25 January 2013). "Big Blue, Australia's national derby". www.theroar.com.au. Retrieved 24 November 2015. 
  3. ^ Appendix:Australian English vocabulary Wiktionary entry
  4. ^ Gorman, Joe (8 November 2012). "'Big Blue' still the A-League's big rivalry". www.theroar.com.au. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  5. ^ "Sydney once more voted the world's number one city". www.eventsnsw.com.au. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  6. ^ Lucas, Clay (19 August 2015). "Melbourne named world's most liveable city, for fifth year running". The Age. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  7. ^ "Round 1". www.ultimatealeague.com. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c Bossi, Dominic (15 May 2015). "A-League grand final: 10 moments that define the Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory rivalry". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  9. ^ Bossi, Dominic (14 February 2015). "History fuels the rivalry between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory, says Mark Milligan". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 27 November 2015. 
  10. ^ http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/news-display/The-Big-Blue-becomes-the-beyondblue-Cup/45399
  11. ^ "Statistics Attendance". ultimatealeague.com. Retrieved 23 November 2015.