A-League Women 2022/23 mid-season report card: Melbourne Victory

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The 2022-23 A-League Women season has been underway for several weeks now, so let’s analyse the progress of Melbourne Victory so far.

Semester summary: A great start for the reigning back-to back champions.

After two shock losses in their first games of the season, Melbourne Victory have bounced back to be only three points from league leaders Melbourne City.

The side have gone on a four-game winning streak and have kept three clean sheets in those matches.

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Even in those two matches, the reigning champions dominated possession but failed to take their chances.

It shows the character of this side to lose their first two matches and win four in a row.

There is a genuine chance that this Victory side could become just the second team to win an A-League Women three-peat, if they continue their form.

Area of excellence: Dominating possession

In every game they have played this season, Melbourne Victory have won the possession battle.

Even in the two games they lost, they still had over 55% possession in both fixtures.

The team have the second highest average possession in the league, with over 56%. Only cross-town rivals Melbourne City have higher with 61%.

Their 4-2-3-1 formation has been crucial in the way they play, with their midfield stacked with a perfect mix of youth and experience.

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In the side’s 3-0 win against Perth Glory, the reigning champs had 64% possession and dominated the game.

The way this side keeps the ball is a major reason why they are playing so well currently.

Area in need of improvement: Chance creation

Even though the side is elite at keeping possession, there have been several games where they have created hardly any chances.

Having the ball is great, but Victory have had only 72 shots this season, the third worst in the league.

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What seems to be happening in many of their games is they control the ball really well but lose the ball in the final third before getting a shot attempt off.

Somehow the side are still one of the best attacking teams in the competition.

Improving their chance creation and shot attempts would give them a great chance at winning three league titles in a row.

Top student: Melina Ayres

Before her hamstring injury, Melina Ayres was the one of the in-form players in the A-League Women.

The 23-year-old scored five goals in five matches, making her the league’s joint top goal scorer.

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She has been extremely clinical in front of goal, overachieving her expected goals by 1.8.

Ayres has been the complete goal scorer for this Victory side, scoring goals with both feet and her head.

Fans will be desperately hoping she returns sooner rather than later because they will miss her massively.

Class clown: Rikke Marie Madsen.

With star American forward Catherine Zimmerman out with injury, the club signed the Danish Madsen to fill her spot on loan.

She has only played two games so far but has struggled in both, not having a goal involvement in 123 minutes.

With Ayres and Zimmerman both out for extended periods, it is up to Madsen to find form otherwise the team may start slipping down the ladder.

It is early days and she could still easily turn it around, but it hasn’t been the start Madsen and the team would have wanted.

Grade: A-

Outlook: After a slow start the side have regained their title-winning from previous seasons.

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It will be an interesting next few months for this side who have lost several key players due to injury.

Cross-town rivals Melbourne City are looking strong, but Victory have the ability and experience to keep the trophy in their hands.

Feature Image Credit: Melbourne Victory

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Joshua Dean
Joshua Dean
Aspiring sports journalist! I love sports and enjoy writing, so added my two hobbies together! Studying Journalism at Massey University, Wellington.

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