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Anna Harrington

Victory, City forced to settle for goalless ALM draw

Things got heated during the A-League Men Melbourne derby between City and Victory. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

Coach Tony Popovic has bristled at the suggestion Melbourne Victory need to take more risks in attack after his charges were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw with Melbourne City.

With Bruno Fornaroli (hand) sitting in the stands, Victory had 17 shots (six on target) to City's six (three) at AAMI Park.

Popovic was none-too-pleased when asked whether his side were unlucky not to win on Saturday night.

"I think if you watch the game, you wouldn't ask me that, if we were the unlucky side," he said.

"Sometimes you play a game and it's evenly balanced. I thought the last derby was evenly balanced. I thought we were very good today."

Goalkeeper Paul Izzo suggested to Network Ten his side could take more risks, but Popovic wasn't buying in.

"I'd like to know what is 'risks'? What does that mean? What does risk mean?" he said. 

"When we say 'risk' - we dominated the entries in the box, we dominated shots on the goal. We dominated the game. 

"So it was a very good performance."

Victory had 31 touches in their attacking 18-yard box, compared to City's 11.

Popovic insisted he hadn't seen Daniel Arzani's frustration when substituted, then dismissed the suggestion the winger was among the better first-half performers.

Socceroos striker Fornaroli had surgery to repair a hairline fracture in his left hand but is expected to return against Western United on Tuesday.

Eli Adams started up top for Victory, while City missed Tolgay Arslan through suspension.

Mathew Leckie made his first start since a hamstring injury, while Marco Tilio started for the first time after signing on loan from Scottish club Celtic.

Jason Geria of Melbourne Victory and Marin Jakolis of Melbourne City
Melbourne Victory's Jason Geria (left) and City's Marin Jakolis were both shown yellow cards. (James Ross/AAP PHOTOS)

City winger Marin Jakolis was potentially lucky not to be sent off in the 71st minute after he was tackled by Jason Geria and kicked out at the Victory fullback, then got up and leaned in for a headbutt.

Both players were shown yellow cards.

"I asked the fourth official because from a distance what I saw it look like he approached him with his head but they cleared it," Popovic said. 

"So just a bit of pushing and shoving - that happens in a derby, so not much to it."

There was also a brief moment of drama just before the second half when the AAMI Park evacuation siren went off, only to prove a false alarm.

City had the first big chance in the eighth minute when Leckie curled a shot on to the far post.

But Victory dominated from there, with Geria hitting the post, Curtis Good clearing Zinedine Machach's scrambled shot off the line and Jamie Young denying Arzani across the next 25 minutes.

Just before halftime, Tilio cut in from the right and forced Izzo into a fingertip diving save.

City spurned two late chances and coach Aurelio Vidmar conceded they could have been cleaner in attack, but was still pleased with the response to a 5-1 loss to Brisbane.

"Really pleased with our guys for sure, on the back of what happened last week," he said.

"Really pleased with the commitment and the intensity, the way they worked together."

Vidmar confirmed Scott Galloway had suffered a calf injury.

City travel to face Sydney FC on Saturday.

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