Moments of inspiration the reward for Victory

No team wins a championship by accident, but Melbourne Victory's 2014-15 Hyundai A-League success was truly a triumph borne from years of deliberate, strategic excellence, on and off the field.

Luring Ange Postecoglou away from Brisbane Roar to take over as head coach in 2012 set the Big V on the path to once again becoming a football powerhouse worthy of their status as a commercial juggernaut. 

A hiccup was encountered when Postecoglou left to answer the national team's distress call after just one season in the job.

To their credit, Victory's top brass put their faith in his assistant, Kevin Muscat, and the club stalwart has not disappointed. 

Demonstrating an infectious enthusiasm and prodigious attention to detail, the former captain has infused every aspect of the football department with a rigour and determination the rest of the competition simply haven't been able to live with.

That attitude and approach was encapsulated in their performance against Sydney FC at AAMI Park on Sunday.

WRAP: Victory outclass Sydney FC in Grand Final

A furious start to the game prevented either team from settling, as the desire of both sides to impose themselves on the contest resulted in a succession of niggling fouls and confrontations between players.

Victory players celebrate Besart Berisha's goal in the Grand Final.

The potential end-to-end thriller predicted by some after two 3-3 draws between the protagonists earlier this season failed to materialise. 

In fact, such was the level of vitriol and spite on display early in the contest, the season's showpiece event threatened to descend into an ugly slog.

With the two sets of players seemingly content to engage in a zero-sum game of foul and counter-foul, it took a moment of genuine inspiration to break the deadlock.

Fittingly, it was crafted by two players intrinsically linked with the long-term vision of the organisation, Guilherme Finkler and Besart Berisha. The former was scouted and signed by Postecoglou, nursed back to health after suffering a serious knee injury and then secured within the constraints of the salary cap on a new contract last year.

Berisha meanwhile, brought to the Roar by Postecoglou but then tempted to Victory during Muscat's tenure, has been a transformative player, lifting Victory from their status as the nearly men who lost in consecutive semi-finals to the champions feted in front of their own fans on Sunday evening.

In the 33rd minute Kosta Barbarouses fired a cross into the area which struck Berisha on the chest. Finkler, standing opposite him, used his own chest to guide the ball back to the international marquee striker, who showed extraordinary poise and vision to swivel and strike the ball viciously past Vedran Janjetovic and into the far corner of the net.

Kosta Barbarouses celebrates his goal in the Grand Final.

The job was by no means done for Victory, who somehow managed to maintain the furious tempo they began the match at throughout the duration of the 90 minutes.

They were rewarded for that combination of endeavour and endurance in the closing stages, when Barbarouses' neat, improvised finish and Leigh Broxham's rampaging run and near-post strike put the outcome beyond doubt.

Sydney, one of the league's best attacking teams, were restricted to two meaningful chances, Lawrence Thomas denying Alex Brosque and Marc Janko in the first and second half respectively.

The hosts enjoyed moments of good fortune. Carl Valeri, sent off late in the game for a second bookable offence, could have been given his marching orders much earlier for a studs-up lunge, while the loss of Jacques Faty to a hamstring problem in the first half was particularly damaging to the Sky Blues.

Victory players celebrate their Hyundai A-League Grand Final triumph.

Victory though will be quick to offer a reminder of that old adage - 'you make your own luck.' 

As far as the good fortune that delivered this championship is concerned, it's been a long time in the making, but had very little to do with chance.