Brisbane outclass Melbourne Victory
by Tomasz Ng:
Hyundai A-League 2013/14, Round 13
7:45pm, Saturday 4 January – AAMI Park, Melbourne
Melbourne Victory FC 0
Brisbane Roar FC 3
(Liam Miller 28’, Matt McKay 55’, Dimi Petratos 67’)
Brisbane Roar sent out an ominous title warning with a classy 3-0 win over Melbourne Victory.
After getting through a difficult start, the away side scored three unanswered goals through Liam Miller, Matthew McKay and Dimitri Petratos to seal a much deserved win.
It was a tough result for Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat, whose side had their chances to go ahead early in the first half.
Gui Finkler, who had his first start since rupturing his ACL was on fire early on and created plenty of openings for Victory.
In the 11th minute, the Brazilian maestro played a wonderful through ball for Kosta Barbarouses, but the New Zealand international was not able to find a way past Roar keeper Michael Theo.
Brisbane then replied with a chance of their own when Thomas Broich sent in a great cross for Henrique, but Nathan Coe reacted well and saved it.
The match was flowing freely, despite a series of early fouls from Brisbane.
Victory was moving the ball around well and James Troisi played a ball over Brisbane’s defence to Barbarouses, but again the forward only found Theo.
Having squandered chances when in control of the contest, Victory were made to pay for their misses in the 28th minute when Brisbane strung together a wonderful team goal.
After a number of passes in midfield, Diogo Ferreira then burst down the left flank, sucking Jason Geria into a challenge before cutting the ball back to Broich, who was unselfish to set up Liam Miller for a simple finish.
The goal took the wind out of Victory’s sails, and they barely created a chance for the rest of the contest.
They did have a free kick in the 31st minute, but Gui Finkler could not replicate his heroics from a week ago against Western Sydney Wanderers with his effort flashing just wide of the post.
Kevin Muscat then made a bold substitution at half time in taking off Mitch Nichols for James Jeggo to come on for some rare game time.
It did not work and Brisbane continued where they left off.
Five minutes into the second half, they should’ve made it two when Henrique and Petratos combined to create an opening, but the Brazilian’s shot was well saved by the busy Coe.
Soon after, Adrian Leijer went into the book with a needless lunge on Ivan Franjic in the middle of the pitch, a caution which he would rue soon after.
Brisbane were well in control of the contest at this stage, and Victory were struggling to keep up.
The visitors then strung together another great move which was capped off by McKay.
Liam Miller found McKay on the left flank, and he passed it back to the Irishman who played a neat pass to Henrique.
The Brazilian was aware of McKay’s ghosting run in behind the defence and stepped over Miller’s pass, bamboozling Victory’s defence who just stood and admired as McKay chipped the ball over an on-rushing Nathan Coe.
Brisbane’s ball movement was quick and incisive, allowing Victory little time to transition or even press them effectively.
Spaces were opening up everywhere for Brisbane, and the whole team were able to move freely off the ball.
Broich then spotted Miller in a pocket of space 30 yards out from goal in the 67th minute, and the Irishman played a look-away pass to Petratos.
The forward then danced past the Victory defence and rifled a finish past Coe to score his fourth goal in two games.
It went from bad to worse for Victory a few minutes later, as Henrique drove towards the box, Leijer was losing his man and lunged in on another challenge, but only succeeded in fouling the Brazilian.
Referee Kris Griffiths-Jones really had no option but to show Leijer a second yellow card and give the former captain his marching orders.
With more space to work with, Diogo Ferreira made a run forward and received a ball from McKay.
The former Victory man almost rubbed salt into the wounds of Melbourne with a drive at goal but Coe was at full stretch to deny him a goal on his return to AAMI Park.
Brisbane saw out the match passing the ball around with confidence, completely outclassing Victory and ensuring they go seven points clear at the top of the table.
1. Nathan Coe [GK], 3. Adama Traore, 4. Nicholas Ansell, 5. Mark Milligan (c), 6. Leigh Broxham, 7. Guilherme Finkler (27. Christopher Cristaldo +63), 9. Kosta Barbarouses, 14. James Troisi, 15. Mitch Nichols (17. James Jeggo +46’), 23. Adrian Leijer, 25. Jason Geria (24. Scott Galloway +83’)
Unused Substitutes: 20. Lawrence Thomas [GK], 16. Rashid Mahazi
Yellow Cards: Leijer 53’, 68’
Red Cards: Leijer 68’
1. Michael Theo [GK], 2. Matthew Smith (c), 5. Ivan Franjic, 10. Henrique (28. Brandon Borrello +77’), 11. Liam Miller, 13. Jade North (26. Corey Brown +84’), 14. Diogo Ferreira (19. Jack Hingert +84’), 17. Matthew McKay, 18. Luke Brattan, 22. Thomas Broich, 23. Dimitri Petratos
Unused Substitutes: 20. Matthew Acton [GK], 27. Devante Clut
Yellow Cards: Brattan 31, Smith 54’, Broich 63’
Red Cards: Nil
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistants: Hakan Anaz, Matthew Cheeseman, Shaun Evans
Pitch Rating: 10/10
Game Rating: 9/10
3. Matthew McKay (BR)
2. Liam Miller (BR)
1. Nathan Coe (MV)
By Tomasz Ng
Photo: Thanks to Zee Ko