Five Grand Final moments that mattered, including a Dees premiership quarter for the ages

The curse is over!

For the first time since 1964, Melbourne are premiers.

Just let that sink in. Football's longest premiership drought is over after an emphatic 74-point thumping over the Western Bulldogs at Perth's Optus Stadium.

The Dees ended proceedings on the back of a 16-goal avalanche after trailing in the third quarter and have given their fans a euphoric feeling they had not experienced for 57 years.

Here are the moments that mattered in the 2021 AFL Grand Final.

Dees bring the Grand Final heat

Pressure in finals is everything, and boy did Melbourne make sure it was felt by their opponents from the get-go. It started at the opening bounce with midfield bull Jack Viney setting the tone with a polarising tackle on Dogs counterpart Jackson Macrae, as he picked up the first loose ball.

Then we saw heavy, fair hits from Christian Salem and Steven May to set up two early offensive chains, and a Kysaiah Pickett run-down tackle in his own forward 50 which assisted Christian Petracca's crowd-wowing opener.

Pickett's pressure again wreaked havoc a few minutes later with the livewire forward never conceding defeat when outnumbered deep forward against Taylor Duryea and Bailey Williams. He chased, dived for a smother and eventually Charlie Spargo swooped into an open goal - yet again masterminded by immense Grand Final aggression.

Every Bulldog disposal was under the pump and immediately this game looked like a contest between a team trying to break a 57-year drought and a team startled by the occasion.

The stakes were high, and the Dees let the Dogs know it.

Recruit kickstarts second-quarter onslaught

Despite the heavy blow out in the end, the premiership cup was at risk of slipping from the Dogs' grasp earlier if Luke Beveridge's troops did not finally assert themselves on the contest. Adam Treloar wasn't going to let it happen.

The star midfielder had a quiet first term but enjoyed a four-minute purple patch to kick off the second-term proceedings and get his side back in the game, using his roving nous to crumb deep contests and snap truly, registering identical back-to-back majors and setting a challenge for the Demons.

Then he gathered possession from the next resulting centre clearance, found his skipper Marcus Bontempelli in space, who launched a deep entry where Aaron Naughton was able to cut Melbourne's lead to just four points - and the Dees' hard work in the first quarter was all but erased.

In his second Grand Final in three years, Treloar imposed himself on the tense contest with three of the most effective touches when the Bulldogs needed a glimmer of hope. But that glimmer became a blaze, and the Bulldogs scored nine times (6.3) from 11 inside 50s in a year where the Demons had conceded a score from just 35% of inside 50 entries per game.

Treloar finished the game with 28 touches and three goals, doing all he could to make sure the Dogs were a fighting chance.

Was Maxie robbed?

Eighteen years after Anthony Rocca sailed through a disallowed goal in the last quarter of a nail-biting Grand Final, when there was conjecture about whether it crossed the line over the left goal post or marginally through the big sticks, Max Gawn has done the same in the 2021 decider - only this time it was in the second term, and it was over the right goal post.

The moments and stages of the respective incidents couldn't be any more different, and luckily, the result is not as controversial.

The Melbourne skipper lined up for goal in the right forward pocket and kicked what looked to the naked eye a late-swinging goal.

It was a one-pointer that has divided fans on social media, but it was Gawn himself who looked the most bewildered, winding up a short-lived fist pump when the goal umpire -- perhaps bravely -- signalled a behind.

Lucky it had no bearing on the result!

See for yourself, was it a goal?

Demons dazzle in the premiership quarter

Jason Johannisen and the Bont convert. The Dogs are out to a 19-point lead and are threatening to snatch the cup.

Did you blink?

Because if you did, you may have missed the drought-breaking seven-goal Melbourne response which all but sealed the famous club its first flag in 57 years.

The Dees took an at-the-time game-high 24-point lead into the final change of ends in a remarkable turn of events, with the on-ball brigade turning it up a notch.

Bayley Fritsch, who became the first player this century to boot six in a Grand Final, kicked two crucial goals to revitalise the frailing Dees when the Dogs had a stranglehold on the contest, and from there the floodgates were well and truly opening.

Petracca dribbled through the goal of the night to dazzle the Optus Stadium crowd (again) and Angus Brayshaw, Clayton Oliver and Tom Sparrow chimed in as part of an unanswered burst which all but put the game to bed - a burst which consisted of four goals directly from their centre bounce dominance and seven overall majors in 16 minutes.

Melbourne simply exploded, and, seemingly, so did the Western Bulldogs' chances of securing a second flag in five years.

Joy on the buzzer

This is the moment that matters the most.

It might not be the most emphatic individual moment and it was in no-way match-winning, but you would forgive the Melbourne faithful for not counting their chickens until the very moment that final siren sounded after the misery they have endured in the past decade and more.

Tom McDonald's goal after the siren -- his side's 16th of the second half -- was the sweetest of endings, a euphoric sense of accomplishment that the club's players, coaches and fans deserve to soak in.

The Norm Smith Curse which has denied premiership No. 13 for so long was buried once and for all.

This was a final-siren embrace 57 years in the making.