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2017/18 Australian A-League, 2017 Australian A-League
  • Kosta Barbarouses (36', 90'+2')
  • Besart Berisha (68')

Kosta Barbarouses double sees Victory hammer Wanderers

Melbourne Victory conjured a comprehensive 3-0 A-League win over Western Sydney to overtake Melbourne City for third spot in the table.

Striker Besart Berisha turned provider on Friday night at ANZ Stadium, where Kosta Barbarouses put away his fourth and fifth goals in the past five games. Between those strikes, Berisha finished Leroy George's 11th assist of the season to lift Victory provisionally above their cross-town rivals.

Marcelo Carrusca made a neat starting debut but it was not enough to further secure their top-six spot, as Josep Gombau's side slumped to their first loss of 2018.

The contest was lively yet scrappy, with yellow cards given liberally and Rhys Williams lucky not to be sent off early for hacking down Oriol Riera.

While the Wanderers had chances, Gombau's shaken-up backline were exactly that at times. Jack Clisby, forced to play in central defence to cover the dearth of available specialists, took a confident stab from distance but was caught out of position more than once.

Raul Llorente, back at left-back after three games covering for the injured Josh Risdon on the right, allowed Barbarouses too much space for his opener. In a moment of magic on the counter, Berisha turned at the halfway point and released a lovely ball to Barbarouses, whose finish was low and hard into the far corner.

Victory's defence had wobbly moments and Riera was allowed to peel off unmarked to ping a volley onto the crossbar.

The Wanderers seemingly had their equaliser just after the break when Risdon delivered a cross on a platter for Riera to head home, but the Spanish striker was offside. Soon after, a wayward Williams header forced Victory goalkeeper Matt Acton into a mad scramble to prevent an own-goal.

Acton didn't put a foot wrong in his second start for the injured Lawrence Thomas, denying another Riera attempt and stopping Chris Herd late.

It set the scene for George's 68th-minute delivery into the box which Berisha sent past Vedran Janjetovic, the Dutch winger's 11th assist to equal the club records held by Marco Rojas and Fahid Ben Khalfallah.

In stoppage time, Barbarouses scored his second from 25 metres out.

Australian A-League Standings

POS Team GP GD PTS