Defence continues to be Victory’s calling card as they push to challenge the top two

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With four consecutive clean sheets over the past 10 days, Melbourne Victory’s rock-solid defence is coming into its own.

With the two Jasons, Geria and Davidson, on the wings, and a rotation including the likes of Roderick Miranda, Rai Marchan, and Matthew Spiranovic in the centre, Victory’s back-third is as imposing as ever.

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After holding Brisbane to a scoreless effort on Tuesday, Tony Popovic was full of praise for his back four in the post-match press conference.

“It’s another clean sheet which is great, unfortunately we couldn’t get the win but I’m happy with how we played at that end of the field,” he said.

“We did well enough to win we just missed some precision in the box.”

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A top-rate defence is the calling card of the best teams across the sporting landscape, and the A-League Men is no exception, with the best defence in the competition generally going on to great things at the business end of the season.

With just 20 goals conceded in 21 matches, Victory has conceded the fewest goals this season by a substantial margin.

“It’s clear that over the past four matches our defence has helped us massively in getting the result,” he said.

The certainty of having a quality back four means that Victory can get results even when the ball isn’t falling their way at the other end. Goalscoring opportunities can ebb and flow, but defence is about consistency.

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And this could prove decisive in the ladder positioning come seasons end. With Victory sitting on a healthy +8 goal differential, they’ll have the upper hand on Western United should it take that to separate the sides at seasons end.

The only significant concern for Victory heading into their next contest with Newcastle Jets on April 16 is the health of star midfielder Jake Brimmer.

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The 24-year-old came off second-best in a clash with teammate Davidson, and was sidelined for the final minutes of the match.

Popovic said he hadn’t seen Brimmer directly after the match, but said all the necessary precautions would be taken.

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With another opportunity for points against a lower-ranked side coming up, Victory would have liked to be at full strength. But with the seemingly impregnable back third intact, anything is possible.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Mitchell Turner
Mitchell Turner
Third Year Undergraduate Arts Student at Monash University (Journalism Major). Generic sports tragic living out my failed dreams of going pro vicariously through other people.

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