Victory boss Muscat reveals key behind Glory triumph

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Melbourne Victory found a way to beat Perth Glory, and Victory boss Kevin Muscat says scoring first was the deciding factor in his side’s shock win over the league-leaders.

Before their 2-0 win in Perth on Saturday night Victory had lost to Glory in their two previous meetings in Melbourne this season.

Glory scored first in both of those games but this time Muscat’s side broke the deadlock through a sublime Ola Toivonen free kick, something the Victory boss saw as key to deciding the outcome of the game.

“Huge difference tonight was scoring first for us,” Muscat said.

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“In previous games (against Glory) we went behind and that helps the way they play.

“They’re very good at suffocating the game.

“The fact we got the first goal made a bit of a difference to the game.”

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What came after Toivonen’s opener was a tirade of Perth Glory attack, which was unrelenting until the final whistle.

Glory crafted 22 shots on goal and 42 crosses with over 60% of possession, but with the one goal advantage Muscat knew his side were prepared to withstand the barrage.

“We forced them wide,” he said.

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“Yes they put a lot of balls into the box, yes there was a lot of shots from distance.

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“They put on some extra attackers at the end and we stood up well as a team, as a unit, to be able to defend our territory.”

And it was the defensive solidity of Muscat’s side, rather than Glory’s inability to find a finish product, that Glory boss Tony Popovic too identified as a decisive factor in the game.

“The keeper made some great saves,” Popovic said.

“They were very desperate in defending and tonight we couldn’t get through.

“We created numerous opportunities, it was just a day where the ball wouldn’t fall for us, it just wouldn’t go in.”

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Victory took less than half the shots the hosts mustered but proved far more efficient, scoring their second and sealing goal through Keisuke Honda from the penalty spot.

Clinical and durable, this Victory performance was won through two opportunistic goals which silenced the home crowd, and the astute work of Muscat’s defence who did not let those goals go to waste.

“I don’t want a team that just goes out and attacks and creates chances,” Muscat said.

“So, I’m really happy to be organised and disciplined tonight, for a change.

“It’s nothing to get carried away with, but at the same time we are pleased with how we played.”

Featured image credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Matthew Comito
Matthew Comito
Football nut, student journalist and firm believer that Berisha dived in the 2012 A-League Grand Final. Covering Perth Glory for the 2018/19 season.

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