Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat waxed lyrical about Ola Toivonen after the home side secured a 2-1 win over Sydney FC in the Australia Day edition of the Big Blue.

The former Swedish international netted a 25-yard free kick and was heavily involved in springing the counter attack move that saw the reigning champions grab their second.

The 32 year old also smashed a record of scoring 10 league goals faster than any other Victory player. Club legends Archie Thompson and Besart Berisha required 19 games to accomplish the feat, but it took Toivonen just 13.

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

“He’s quality, he really stood out again tonight with his free kick,” Muscat said.

“I watched a lot of football this weekend, majority of it international, and I don’t think I’ve seen a bit of brilliance like that.

“If (Lionel) Messi scores a free kick like that the world would be raving about it.

“The second goal for Ola to hold his man off, bring the ball down in one motion … it’s outstanding.”

Apart from his technical brilliance, Toivonen also showed another side of his game. The Swede displayed the no-nonsense, hardy attitude that he imparted from his time in France and England, locking horns with Alex Wilkinson and Milos Ninkovic throughout the match. The 1.92m striker also put his frame into good use, contesting 19 duels, winning more than half of them – more than any man on the pitch.

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

“Ola’s coming in for some real treatment now, the amount of tackles he’s conceding at the moment,” Muscat said.

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“He’s a big boy and he used his body very well, I don’t think he’s given away too many fouls, it isn’t part of his make up.”

Corica : We deserved to win

Muscat’s opposite, Steve Corica, also admitted Toivonen’s quality, but felt that his side deserved to win.

“A very good free kick from Toivonen, world class to be honest, but other than that, they didn’t have many chances,” Corica said.

“I think we deserved to win.

“In the first half I thought we were solid, in the second, it was different. We passed up higher, we put them under pressure, we won the ball back up high and I thought we had the best chances of that half.

“There are still plenty of games for the premiership, it’s very tight and I think it’s going to be a good end to the season. It’s been a busy period in January, six games in a month, we’ve had a good run, other than tonight.”

Image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

Troisi debunks celebration

James Troisi’s goal was adjudged to have come off Aaron Calver in the process, but official credit at full time allowed Troisi to pick up his fourth goal of the season. The highlight of the eventual winning goal was not of his brilliantly dispatched shot, it was however, of his celebration.

Wheeling away towards the home and (silenced) away fans in the south end, Troisi gleefully sprung up a telephone-like gesture before heading into the embrace of his Victory teammates. It was immediately recognised as a sign of banter in good faith, directed towards Graham Arnold for leaving him out of the Asian Cup selection. But the 30-year old claims it meant something else.

 

“It was a nice celebration, I like Thierry Henry so, I did one of those,” Troisi spoke to the media scrum after the game.

Evergreen football fans will remember Henry’s celebration, inspired by this classic Budweiser advertisement after scoring one of his best career goals against Manchester United in 2000.

Image credit : SkySports

When nudged on the bigger agenda regarding Troisi’s past comments on Arnold’s team selection, the attacker provided a firm but adamant answer.

“I said what I had to say and I’m not wrong, I wasn’t wrong, and even if I am, it’s my opinion and that’s what there is to it.”

Make what you want of that, folks.

Feature image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Journalism undergrad at Monash University, Kai is a multimedia journalist covering Melbourne Victory. Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund. Once "stole" Shinji Kagawa's plane ticket.