Melbourne Victory has ended its seven-game winless run with a first-ever victory over local rivals Western United at AAMI Park tonight.
Unsuccessful in its first five clashes against United, Victory put in a dominant display to win 6-1 in front of no fans due to Victoria’s current lockdown.
The win gave Victory supporters watching from home something to cheer about.
Jake Brimmer opened the scoring in style for Victory, striking from the edge of the box to score his fifth goal of the season in the 12th minute.
Adama Traore then teed up Rudy Gestede in the 22nd minute to double Victory’s advantage.
Ben Folami furthered Victory’s grip on the game. Having been an attacking threat on the wing in the opening half, he set up Elvis Kamsoba in the 33rd minute before going on a run and scoring himself in the 36th minute.
On the ropes and 4-0 down, United got a lifeline when a Folami handball resulted in a penalty. Alessandro Diamanti calmly scored from the spot in injury time to give his side some momentum going into the break.
Victory restored its four-goal lead inside the opening five minutes of the second half..
McManaman found space and went on a run in the 50th minute, assisting Elvis Kamsoba for his first career brace.
Jacob Butterfield has been a threat from range all season, and his goal from outside the box put the icing on the cake for Victory in the 82nd minute, with the side securing its fifth win for the season in style.
YOUGNSTER BUILDS ON PROMISE
Ben Folami continues to blossom in his loan spell from English side Ipswich Town, with the 21-year-old’s stellar performance doing his Olympic selection chances no harm.
He was a major contributor in Victory’s win, and his purple patch in the first half, in which he assisted and scored inside five minutes, sealed the win early on.
Possessing good positional awareness, Folami has developed greatly as the season has progressed.
WESTERN UNITED PUNISHED FOR POOR FORM
Western United looked like a lock for finals at the beginning of the season, but, having gone winless in their past seven games, the side is now officially out of finals contention.
With only two games remaining, United sits eight points outside the top six. The loss tonight against a struggling Victory seals its unfortunate fate.
KEAN GETTING A TUNE OUT OF SIDE
Since Steven Kean took over as Victory’s caretaker manager, the side has made great strides.
The side has looked competitive since his appointment, and, after encouraging signs in recent games, it all came together tonight, leaving pundits wondering where this had been all season.
Melbourne Victory 5 (Jake Brimmer 12′, Rudy Gestede 22′, Elvis Kamsoba 33′, Ben Folami 36m, Elvis Kamsoba 50′) Western United 1 (Alessandro Diamanti 45+3′)
Referee: Adam Bavcar
Melbourne Victory 4-2-3-1
1. Matt ACTON (gk), 2. Storm ROUX, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 19. Dylan RYAN, 3. Adama TRAORE, 8. Jacob Butterfield, 22. Jake BRIMMER, (14. Jay BARNETT 72′), 7. Callum MCMANAMAN, (34. Gianluca IANNUCCI 90+1′), (29. Nishan VELUPILLAY 70′) 11. Ben FOLAMI, 17. Elvis KAMSOBA, (26 Lleyton BROOKS 69m), 9. Rudy GESTEDE
Unused subs: 20. Max CROCOMBE, 16. Brandon LAUTON, 35. Zayden BELLO
Manager: Steve Kean
Yellow Cards: Callum McManaman
Red Cards: None
Western United 5-4-1
30. Ryan SCOTT, 5. Dylan PIERIAS, (26. Nicolas MILANOVIC 66′) 11. Connor PAIN, 3. Brendan HAMILL, 22. Tomislav USKOK, 6. Tomoki IMAI, 34. Iker GUARROTXENA, (31. Adisu BAYEW 67m) 21. Sebastian PASQUALI, (27. Jerry SKOTADIS 46′), 25. Luke Duzel, (10. Steven LUSTICA 66′) ,23. Alessandro DIAMANTI, 8. Lachlan WALES
Unused subs: 1. Filip KURTO, 2. Aaron CALVER, 4. Andrew DURANTE
Manager: Mark Rudan
Yellow Cards: Connor Pain, Iker Guarrotxena
Red Cards: None
Image supplied – Getty