A stunning three-goal first half by Melbourne Victory laid the platform for an emphatic 4-0 win over league leaders Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Friday night.
This was the Victory we’ve come to know – full of pressing, enthusiasm and incisive attacking play. They were simply unstoppable to snap a disappointing run of results that’s seen them drop to fifth.
Roar simply couldn’t handle the dynamic home side, with the Big V suddenly looking like the team that won the double last season.
Three goals in the opening half an hour blew away Roar who had their chances but failed to capitalise.
1-0: 4’ Fahid Ben Khalfallah (Victory)
Roar lost possession in their defensive third, Finkler got on the ball, fed Khalfallah and inside the box FBK guided it past Jamie Young’s right hand
2-0: 10’ Kosta Barbarouses (Victory)
Another defensive error allowed Barbarouses a straight run at goal and with the keeper to beat, he coolly slotted past Young’s left hand.
3-0: 29’ Kosta Barbarouses (Victory)
Finkler’s curling cross found Barbarouses in the box and his brilliant angled header beat Young again.
4-0: 51’ Besart Berisha (Victory)
Delpierre hit the post with a low shot, the ball spilled wide of the box and from the cross by Ben Khalfallah, Berisha steered home goal number four.
Stefan Nigro’s nutmeg at right back position on Thomas Broich was something to savour. In fact, Nigro’s first half was incredible with another nutmeg and an assist. Take a bow. What a debut.
Matt McKay was subbed off after a tackle from Socceroo teammate Ollie Bozanic which saw the Roar captain hobble off straight after.
Berisha went down in a heap in the final few minutes after a relatively innocuous challenge on the back of his leg from Bowles. He looked in some discomfort but continued.
THE FINAL WORD
Victory are back! They played with pace across the ground. Their pressing when they lost the ball was superb and their fast breaks were deadly.
And for Stefan Nigro, he had a debut to remember at right back.
For Roar, a short turnaround after Sunday’s game in Wellington and Corona’s inability to control the game in the centre of the park seemingly cost them big time.
In short, without some key strikers on Olyroos duty, they looked a shadow of their former self on Friday night.
Melbourne Victory (4-3-3): Vukovic (GK); Murnane, Broxham (C), Nigro (Ansell 63’), Delpierre; Finkler (Thompson 72’), Mahazi, Bozanic; Barbarouses, Berisha, Ben Khalfallah (Makarounas 83’).
Subs: Ansell, Thompson, Ingham, Thomas, Makarounas
Brisbane Roar (4-3-3): Young (GK); Stefanutto, Bowles, North, Hingert; McKay, capt (Lustica 58’) Hervas, Corona; Solorzano (Petratos 55’), Broich, Henrique (Brady 76’).
Subs: Theo (GK); Lustica, Brady, Petratos, Brown
Scorers: Ben Khalfallah 4’, Barbarouses 10’, 29’, Berisha 51’
Red cards: Nil
Yellow cards: Stefanutto
Conditions: 16C, Dry
Attendance: 23,207 @ AAMI Park
Hyundai A-League preview: Victory v Roar
The Hyundai A-League leaders face the reigning champions in what should be a classic clash to kick off Round 15 in Melbourne on Friday night. Friday, 15 January 2016 Melbourne Victory v Brisbane Roar FC AAMI Park, Melbourne Kick-Off: 7:40 PM (Local) (7:40 PM (AEDT)) Refere