Deja vu as United remain superior

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Both Melbourne teams came into the derby at GMHBA with winning on their minds, but ultimately United emerged as the superior team.

When Western United and Melbourne Victory met five weeks ago, it was one of the best games of the season and this time was no different.

United looked like they were back to their initial A-League success after things had taken a sour turn, having lost their last three games.

Goals came pouring in a lively and intense first half, beginning when Melbourne Victory midfielder Jakob Poulsen rocketed a ball to Andrew Nabbout, who had a clear path to goal in the 13th minute after he outran United defender Ersan Gulum.

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United was not going to let Victory relish their lead for long. Three minutes later, Connor Pain sent a direct pass to Besart Berisha who steered a solid header straight passed Victory keeper Lawrence Thomas.

Equalising was not enough for the Green and Blacks, who quickly gained the lead over Victory in the 24th minute when Alessandro Diamanti found Panagiotis Kone in the middle of a sea of Victory players and he sent the ball past Thomas.

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United then took advantage of a break in play when Victory defender James Donachie lost his mark on Josh Risdon, giving Risdon enough time to volley the ball to Berisha to direct the ball straight into the back of the net.

The second half of the match was just a potent as the first, with Donachie and Gulum left seeing yellow after both tackled late.

Victory tried to regain control over the match, with substitute Josh Hope coming onto the field and almost assisting Ola Toivonen in a low cross that was collected by United keeper, Filip Kurto.

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United moved to a more defensively sound style of play in order to protect their two-goal lead.

The win made up for a barren three weeks for Western United with no goals in consecutive losses to the Newcastle Jets, Central Coast Mariners and Sydney FC.

Goals for Melbourne Victory had also not been rushing in, with their previous defeat to United being the only time they have scored more than once in a match all season.

Western United FC: 3 Besart Berisha (16’ 43’) Panagiotis Kone (24’)

Melbourne Victory: 1 Andrew Nabbout (13’)

GMHBA Stadium, Geelong

Attendance: 10,128

Referee: Adam Kersey

Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald

Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Brown

Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro

VAR: Alex King

Western United FC

Filip KURTO (GK), Jerry SKOTADIS, Besart BERISHA, Connor PAIN, Andrew DURANTE, Ersan GULUM, Josh RISDON, Panagiotis KONE, Aaron CALVER, Alessandro DIAMANTI, Dario JERTEC, Brendan HAMILL (Sub 66’), Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS (Sub 69’), Dylan PIERIAS (83′)

Unused Subs:

Ryan SCOTT (GK), Max BURGESS, Valentino Yuel, Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS

Melbourne Victory

Lawrence THOMAS (GK), Adama TRAORE, Storm ROUX, James DONACHIE, Leigh BROXHAM, Jakob POULSEN, Andrew NABBOUT, Robbie KRUSE, Ola TOIVONEN, Elvis KAMSOBA, Migjen BASHA, Anthony LESIOTIS (Sub 46’), Kenny ATHIU (Sub 67’) Josh HOPE (Sub 71’)

Unused Subs:

Brendan WHITE (GK) Corey BROWN, Ben CARRIGAN, Jay BARNETT

Feature Image Credit: Western United 

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Suzanna Telai
Suzanna Telai
Football enthusiast and student journalist, covering Western United for the 2019/20 A-League season

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