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Melbourne's Christian Petracca has sent the AFL world into meltdown with a mesmerising performance in the Demons' 74-point grand final victory over the Western Bulldogs.
The Demons snapped a 57-year premiership curse after an absorbing 21.14 (140) to 10.6 (66) win in front of 60,000 fans at Optus Stadium in Perth.
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Petracca put on an absolute masterclass for Melbourne, with the midfield gun breaking the record for most disposals (40) in a grand final.
It was little surprise that he was awarded the Norm Smith Medal after the game for the best on ground.
The Demons star had a hand in just about everything in a rollercoaster match that saw Melbourne jump out to a big quarter time lead, only to trail at halftime.
However, the Demons exploded in an incredible 17-minute period in the third term where they booted seven goals to turn the contest on its head.
In an extraordinary turnaround, Melbourne turned a half-time deficit into a 24-point lead going into the final term.
At the heart of it was Petracca, who kicked what will no doubt be remembered as one of the great grand final goals.
The Melbourne midfielder was quickest to react to a loose ball near the boundary line and with a flick of the outside of his right boot, dribbled the ball expertly towards the goals.
Petracca seemingly had the ball on a string as it snaked through the posts to give the Demons a 12-point lead at the time.
The astonishing piece of skill left viewers gobsmacked on social media, with many fans anointing Petracca as the Norm Smith Medallist well before the final siren.
CHRISTIAN PETRACCA YOU ARE INSANE
— soph (@formulasoph) September 25, 2021
Petracca. No words. Other than NORM. SMITH. #aflgrandfinal2021
— feebeemac ❤️💙 (@Fiona_Marconi) September 25, 2021
Petracca has turned this game on its head. Gut running, amazing.#AFLGF
— @cats!!! (@cats2007) September 25, 2021
GOAL DEMONS! PETRACCA THINKS HE'S EDDIE BETTS. ARE YOU KIDDING.
Demons 10.11 (71)
Bulldogs 9.5 (59)#AFLGF
— USAFL (@USAFL1997) September 25, 2021
If they win, that goal just gave Petracca the Norm Smith imo. Splendid stuff.
— Meat Axes & Mullets (@macktruck81) September 25, 2021
Demons snap 57-year premiership drought
The onslaught continued in the final quarter as a shell-shocked Bulldogs outfit had no answer to the Demons' second half surge.
When Ben Brown kicked his third and Bayley Fritsch booted his fifth goal of the match, it looked as if nothing could stop the Demons snapping their long premiership drought.
Alex Neale-Bullen and Ed Langdon got in on the act with their first majors of the game as Melbourne's lead stretched to 48 points.
Fritsch kicked a sixth goal with just over two minutes left on the clock to well and truly kick off the celebrations for Melbourne fans.
Adam Treloar inspired the Bulldogs to a six-goal to one second quarter, in which he booted two goals of his three goals to help the Bulldogs to a half time lead.
It wasn't enough though, as Petracca dominated the second half, eventually breaking former Brisbane Lions premiership star Simon Black's record for the most disposals in a grand final with 40.
The Demons booted seven unanswered goals to close the third quarter, and after trailing by eight points at the main break, had completed a 42-point turnaround to lead by 24 heading into the final quarter.
The Bulldogs, having already overcome Essendon, Brisbane and Port Adelaide in as many weeks to win through to the grand final from fifth on the ladder, looked to have run out of answers.
It took just a minute after halftime for the Demons to find Brown up forward for their eighth unanswered goal, which was soon followed by a ninth, 10th and 11th straight major as the league's longest premiership drought was finally ended.
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