A relieved Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat said there was only one team that played for a win after the Big V took the points in Tuesday night’s tense Big Blue against Sydney FC at Etihad stadium.
The visitors’ impressive defensive shape blunted the Big V’s attacking intent till the final 10 minutes when the home side got their reward to win it 1-0.
Substitute Jesse Makarounas’ low ball into the box was guided into the Sky Blues' net by the otherwise excellent Matt Jurman to send the 30,000 plus home crowd into ecstasy.
“Let’s be honest, it was one team trying to win and one team trying not to lose. Let’s be honest,” Muscat told Fox Sports after the game.
“We were patient. I thought we beat their first press a number of times,” Muscat added.
“But it’s hard to play when you’ve got eight bodies behind the ball defending on the edge of the box.
“It’s hard to break that down. And we had enough chances and you’re not going to get 12 chances in these games because the way Sydney set up.”
For a second week in a row, the Sky Blues opted to go for the result rather than entertain to frustrate their opponents.
Muscat added that the way Sydney set up wasn’t a bad way to play.
“It’s a way of playing,” he clarified.
“But there’s a reason why there’s so many people here tonight because we want to be on the front foot, playing attacking football and I’d rather die on my feet then live on my knees.”
Victory is now up to fourth on the ladder with 27 points. They next head to Perth to face Glory this Saturday.