Melbourne Victory got back on the winners' list after a convincing 3-0 win over Western Sydney Wanderers. Here are three thoughts.
(Video Courtesy of Fox Sports and Hyundai A-League)
FBK the assists king.
The Victory are favourites for the title for a reason: its squad is filled with talent throughout. It has a pleathora of match winners and at the start of the season, pundits and fans alike highlighted the main men, Besart Berisha, Gui Finkler and Archie Thompson. But over the last month, one man has stood head and shoulders above the rest: our little Moroccan, Fahid Ben Khalfallah. Last week: he ran himself ragged against Perth. Last night: three killer passes, three assists.
His hard running, his eye for a killer pass, and his flexible over the pitch has added another dimension for the Victory. It is no wonder that the Kevin Muscat and Co are looking to extend his contract for another year. He has become one, if not, the key man in the Victory attacking machine.
Berisha needed those goals.
It had been three games without a goal for the Albanian hitman. Now, that is not bad (considering there are worst strike rates out there), and Berisha does offer more than just goals (insensed pressuring, a desire to win), but you sensed that the former Brisbane Roar striker needed those goals last night. After his penalty miss against the Phoenix, his confidence looked shot in front of goal (no pun intended) and has struggled to really impose himself.
Yet, he was back to his best last night. His first goal was a classic poacher's strike, his second highlighting his cool composure in front of goal. He has got 11 goals now for the season, and here is hoping that his last 90 minutes is enough to kick-start a dangerous run.
Finally, a clean sheet.
Seven goals conceded in the last three games does not showcase a team that are championship material. Finally, against the Wanderers, a deserved and needed clean sheet. The defence was fantastic throughout, with Mathieu Delpierre great in leading the line. The midfield even did their job by adding another of stability. Even Nathan Coe (who has repeately and deservely copped a lot of flak on this site) was outstanding, especially with his double save early in the game. Hopefully this performance will trigger a run of clean sheets, something the club needs.
What do you guys think? Is there anything missing from the list?