The intriguing stat around Victory star Besart Berisha
It wasn’t the way Besart Berisha wanted to celebrate his milestone 100th game for Melbourne Victory.
Not only was his side humbled 2-1 against Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park, but the Hyundai A-League’s greatest-ever scorer was substituted 17 minutes from time as Victory were looking to get back into the game.
So often Victory’s go-to man when in need of a goal, coach Kevin Muscat decided to take the 32-year-old off in favour of the younger and pacier Kenny Athiu.
While it’s premature to suggest Berisha’s talent is a fading force in the Hyundai A-League, he isn’t an indispensable to Victory as he has been in the past.
In fact, of the 22 matches Berisha has been taken off by Muscat in the Hyundai A-League, three of those have come in the last five games.
What’s more, prior to the start of that streak, Berisha had gone 20 games straight without being substituted dating back to the Melbourne Derby in February last year.
Despite the defeat, Victory’s performance perhaps wasn’t as bad as the scoreline suggests.
They still finished ahead of Roar in many of the stats including corners (12 to 4), passing accuracy, shots from outside the box (7 to 3) and total shots (15 to 6).
OTHER MATCH FACTS
Roar’s 2-1 win is the first time in seven years that they've won any game in Melbourne by that scoreline. Brisbane last achieved this result against Victory on November 14th, 2010 at AAMI Park.
Friday night’s match was the 17th time since 2015 in which Victory have trailed at half-time at any venue. In that time, they have only come back to win one match, against Wellington Phoenix on December 3rd, 2017.
Victory’s one goal is now the fifth time in their last 11 games at AAMI Park that they've been restricted to just the solitary goal.