It was a good weekend for the clubs of Melbourne in the A-League, as they both offered an evening of entertaining football to their fans and conquered the three points against their respective opponents quite easily.
On Saturday night at the Marvel Stadium, it was Victory who first put on a memorable performance against the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Kevin Muscat’s men were a constant threat on the ball and made sure to take advantage of all the open spaces left in the defence of Markus Babbel’s men, who were without key defender Patrick Ziegler.
On the other side, the absence of German centre back Georg Niedermeier was hardly felt at all.
The fact that the first goal of the game came within the opening minutes by Keisuke Honda (after a clever assist by Terry Antonis) helped ease off the pressure and make things a lot less complicated.
Every counter attack by Ola Toivonen and Kosta Barbarouses spread panic into the defence of the Wanderers.
During one of those attacks, midfielder Raul Baena scored his first goal for the club.
A few minutes later, during yet another counter attack Barbarouses was able to break away from his personal opponent and was brought down in the box, with the referee awarding the penalty.
The Greek forward made no mistake from the spot and gave his team a three goal margin at the break.
In the second half, things died down a little, with the home side allowing a bit more possession of the ball to the visitors, yet no real threat coming from that.
Instead, it was Muscat’s men that managed to get more chances in, mainly from Ola Toivonen who was clearly unlucky to not have scored.
Yet on another of those potential opportunities, the Swedish forward showed his quality as he did not take the shot, instead opting to pass the ball to oncoming Antonis who blasted the ball into the back of the net to write the final score of the evening.
On Sunday at AAMI Park, the story was a little bit different, with fans feeling a little disappointed at the choice of the head coach of Melbourne City, Warren Joyce, to leave their star striker Bruno Fornaroli out of the squad.
In fact, they made their feelings known more than once over the course of the evening.
However, it seems the manager may have been justified in his choice, as testified by his team’s performance against the Newcastle Jets.
The ‘sky blues’ scored just before two minutes were up thanks to a solo effort by Riley McGree.
A tough contest in midfield was what followed, with the visitors managing to balance things out and find more space and they even had a great opportunity to equalise after a Petratos free kick fell and a scuffle in the area saw the ball fall to the feet of Hoffman, who sent the ball just inches wide.
However, just before the half was over, Luke Brattan scored what may be one of the goals of the season, as he saw the clearance from outside the area, controlled the ball on his chest and without letting it bounce, took the shot that landed in the back of Moss’ net.
Disheartened, the Jets tried to find an early goal in second half but good defensive organisation by the home side did not allow for many threats against Galekovic’s goal.
It was City who struck again on the 75th, after a clever through ball by Ritchie De Laet found Lachlan Wales who didn’t miss up against Moss to give his team a triumphant win.
In other games for Round Six, table-leaders Perth Glory fell victim to a surprise at Wellington as they were forced to a 1-1 draw against the Phoenix, who had been reduced to ten men.
Sydney FC walked away with a 1-2 win from the local derby against the Mariners, while Adelaide defeated the Roar at home by the same margin.
For Round Seven, Victory will host Adelaide United while City travel to Perth to face Glory.
A-LEAGUE ROUND SIX RESULTS
- Adelaide United – Brisbane Roar 2-1 (43′, 49′ Halloran, 78′ Regan sent off / 67′ Henrique, 90’+1′ Mauk sent off)
- Central Coast Mariners – Sydney FC 1-2 (16′ Simon / 42′ pen. le Fondre, O’ Neill)
- Melbourne Victory – Western Sydney Wanderers 4-0 (11′ Honda, 31′ Baena, 39′ pen. Barbarouses, 83′ Antonis)
- Wellington Phoenix – Perth Glory 1-1 (44′ Krishna 75′ sent off Lowry / 82′ Castro)
- Melbourne City – Newcastle Jets 3-0 (2′ McGree, 45’+3′ Brattan, 75′ Wales)
ROUND SEVEN FIXTURES
Friday 07 December
- 7:50pm Central Coast Mariners – Western Sydney Wanderers
Saturday 08 December
- 5:35pm Sydney FC – Wellington Phoenix
- 7:50pm Melbourne Victory – Adelaide United
Sunday 09 December
- 5:00pm Newcastle Jets – Brisbane Roar
- 10:00pm Perth Glory – Melbourne City