Muscat hails Victory’s ‘exceptional’ performance in WSW win

Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat admitted it was an “interesting game” but lauded his side’s display in Saturday night’s thrilling win over Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday night.

Victory rebounded from last week’s loss in Perth to overpower the Wanderers 3-1 at AAMI Park, courtesy of goals to Leroy George, Besart Berisha and Thomas Deng.

The win moved Victory back into the top four after being usurped by Adelaide on Friday, while Wanderers dropped out of the top six following Roar’s win over Central Coast.

“I thought after last week's performance and result in Perth, it was an exceptional effort. Western Sydney came out really determined,” Muscat said post-match.

“You could sense that they had really something to play for in terms of finals spots, hearing before the game that Brisbane had won, overtaken them.

“They came out really determined I suppose as we'd expect."

In a period of madness, both sides were reduced to 10 men on the stroke of half-time with Michael Thwaite (Wanderers) and Kosta Barbarouses (Victory) shown their marching orders for separate incidents.

Muscat admitted the dynamic of the game changed in the second stanza but was pleased with his side’s execution as they claimed a deserved win.

"Then in the second half, it's a totally different game,” Muscat said.

“The pitch doesn't change in size but there just seems to be so much more space, nine players v nine players.

"…Leroy hits the post, there were multiple opportunities to score more goals so it was a resilient performance when we didn't have the ball, especially in that second half, tactically to be resilient the way we were.

“Going the other way, I thought we were relentless. We had speed in wide areas, craft in wide areas that caused them a great deal of problems in the second half."