The Big Blue, also known as The City Derby, is a match in Australia's premier soccer competition, the A-League. It is contested between rivals Sydney FC !Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory !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".
First played on the opening weekend of the inaugural 2005-06 season, this clash is one of the biggest soccer rivalries in Australia, along with The Melbourne Derby, The Cross Border Rivalry and the The Sydney Derby. The Big Blue generally attracts some of the largest crowds and TV audiences of the regular season. The rivalry came about due to Sydney and Melbourne being the two largest cities in Australia, two of the league's most supported clubs and a number of highly competitive meetings between the two teams in early seasons. The name has its origins in Australian slang, with "blue" meaning "fight" or "confrontation" and the fact that both clubs play in blue jerseys. It carries on from a longstanding rivalry between the two cities. 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.
In their most recent encounter, 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 4th in 6 games.
Since 2012, the teams have played for the BeyondBlue Cup, which is awarded to the winning team in the Big Blue. Sydney FC claimed the inaugural BeyondBlue Cup by defeating Melbourne Victory 1-0 at Allianz Stadium on 10 March 2012.
The fixture played 8 December 2006 holds the record for the highest attendance at a regular season match with 50,333 in attendance. In total five fixtures between the two sides make up the top ten of the League's highest regular season attendances.