Victory suffer premiership blow

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick feels his side only has a slim chance of winning the Hyundai A-League premiership after its 3-2 loss in Perth on Sunday.

Melbourne Victory coach Ernie Merrick feels his side only has a slim chance of winning the Hyundai A-League premiership after its 3-2 loss in Perth on Sunday.

Despite taking the lead in the third minute through Daniel Allsopp, the Victory failed to press home the advantage as a double from Glory striker Eugene Dadi helped the hosts gain maximum points from their final home fixture of the season.

The result also saw Perth win its second home match over Melbourne this campaign after defeating the Victory 3-1 in early December, leaving the second-placed Victorians one point adrift of table leader Adelaide with their chances of finishing the season atop the table almost fatally hit.

"I think it's a fairly difficult position to be in now," admitted Merrick.

"The ball's firmly in the court of Adelaide, they've got a point ahead of us plus a game in hand, they're looking pretty well."

"They can certainly slip up, (but) I'm saying once as a team, you start relying on teams losing then you're not in a good position."

Merrick conceded he was at a loss to explain a significant momentum shift that occurred during the first half.

After Allsopp scored, the Victory dominated the next 22 minutes creating several gilt-edged chances and running all over the Glory through the midfield.

But a mandatory drink break at the mid-point of the half, made necessary by the high temperature, swung the momentum back in Perth's favour, the home team returning to the pitch full of fire and scoring twice before half-time through Dadi and Nikita Rukavytsya.

And, although Melbourne equalised once more through Ney Fabiano's tap-in in the 47th minute following a dreadful error from retiring Perth goalkeeper Jason Petkovic, the Glory re-took the advantage from a 76th-minute free kick, a lunging Dadi volleying home the winner.

"It was such a dominant performance in the first 20 minutes or so and they were looking good and just fell away," Merrick said.

"The plan was to go at it right from the start and we probably had four outstanding chances in the first 10-15 minutes and if you don't put them away, the opposition punishes you."

"And then we went to the drinks break and we fell away, we sort of lost the momentum that we had."

"Second half, we came out firing again, scored the equaliser and just as I thought we were going to go on with it and we were doing really well, we gave away a free kick and we were punished by yet another set play."

"(But) to their credit, I thought Perth just battled away, they destroyed everything we tried to create in midfield and caught us on the break a couple of times."