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The big slide: How this game summed up Dees, Pies in 2019

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The slide at the MCG on Queen's Birthday is a fitting metaphor for Melbourne's season, the Demons' fall being the most pronounced of any team.

This was a game between two top four teams from last year, one that has largely maintained the rage and cohesion, the other, for various reasons, unable to re-discover the surging momentum and belief that carried it to a preliminary final.

The Queen's Birthday game summed up Melbourne's season.Credit:AAP

For Collingwood, this victory was both essential and crucial in the contest of their season after an unexpected slip against the Dockers.

Results over this round had conspired in their favour, given their major rivals for top four positions (barring Geelong) - the Giants, Richmond and especially West Coast - were all beaten, handing the Pies an opportunity to open up a one-game space in second spot.

For Melbourne, this was a game that might restore the element that has been more sorely missed than any of their injured defenders - belief. Winning would not get them into the finals this year - that possibility was lost weeks ago - but it could provide a........

© The Age