With our first match of the 2022/23 season just days away, we countdown our top 5 Big Blues against Melbourne Victory.
The Inaugural Big Blue
Significantly, our first meeting against Victory came on the opening weekend of the inaugural 2005/06 A-League season at Allianz Stadium – Aussie Stadium at the time.
More than 25,000 witnessed the first of many exhilarating Big Blues to come, with either sides marquee signings marking their names in club folklore.
English international Dwight Yorke provided the opener with a superb finish on the stroke of halftime, while Socceroo Archie Thompson clinched the equaliser and the draw in the 73rd minute to mark the beginning of a fierce rivalry.
With Sydney 1-0 victors in their final regular season fixture against Victory, we became the first team of the rivalry to win all Big Blue fixtures in the regular season. We would meet once more, the 2016/17 Grand Final in front of a home crowd of 41,546.
It was a shaky start for the home side, conceding in the opening 20 minutes to Besart Berisha, before climbing back to equalise through veteran Rhyan Grant in the 69th minute. The game could not be decided in regular or extra time, with penalties becoming the Premiership decider.
Again, a shaky start to penalties, going behind by a goal before Danny Vukovic stepped up to hold off the remaining Melbourne attempts. Milos Ninkovic finishing in style, meeting the Cove in open arms to conclude our most successful season to date.
Australia Day masterclass
Venturing south for the second Big Blue instalment of the 2013/14 season, Victory fell victim to a rampant Sky Blue outfit on Australia Day.
Sydney put on three goals in the opening half-hour through Ranko Despotovic, Alessandro Del Piero, and Sebastian Ryall, before Del Piero bagged another after the break.
Nick Carle capped off Sydney’s stunning performance just minutes before the final whistle to record the team’s first victory in over a month, winless in the previous five fixtures and sitting seventh on the ladder.
Record crowd at the Telstra Dome
Victory during the 2006/07 A-League season were the top dogs, taking out both the league Championship and Premiership, including their 6-0 demolition of Adelaide United in the Grand Final.
After defeating Sydney on both occasions during the regular season, the sides met once more in the Telstra Dome, Melbourne aiming for a clean sweep. However, Sydney was to hold strong against the competition heavyweights, a nil all draw in the end.
What puts this clash in the top five is the significance of the match. The fixture was played in front of 50,333 fans which is eighth on the all-time list of A-League crowds and remains the most attended Big Blue clash in the rivalry history.
The rivalry’s second season, this fixture truly put into perspective the passion and pride of both teams, giving viewers an insight into the future of the Big Blue and the influence it would and continues to have on the A-League.
2010 Grand Final
The first Grand Final meeting between the pair, Sydney had stolen the Premiership from Victory in the final regular season game, setting up an electric finals series.
The teams met again in the home and away semi-finals, Melbourne victorious and advancing straight to the Grand Final, leaving Sydney to face Wellington Phoenix in the Preliminary stage.
Sydney would reign victorious against Phoenix and meet Victory again in the Grand Final (the first and only time the pair have faced off twice in a finals series), coming out on top in penalties.
Mark Bridge opening the match after the half before Adrian Leijer equalised late, with Sydney running away 4-2 in penalties. It was an end to a thrilling final few games of the season, certainly leaving a sting in the hearts of Victory players and fans.