LNTUP

A-League: Perth Glory vs Melbourne Victory- Match Report

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Besart Berisha helps Melbourne Victory to first win of season at Perth Glory

 

Besart Berisha came back to haunt Perth Glory yet again as Melbourne Victory notched their first win of the season with a 2-0 triumph in Sunday’s clash at nib Stadium.

Victory entered the match in the unthinkable position of last on the table after managing just four draws and two losses from the opening six A-League rounds.

With the scoreline reading 0-0 approaching the hour mark, another winless week beckoned for Victory.

But goals to Berisha and Leroy George broke the game wide open, with the win catapulting Victory into sixth spot on the table.

Berisha, who scored a controversial penalty against Perth while playing for Brisbane in their 2012 grand final win, was the subject of derogatory songs among the Glory supporter area known as “The Shed.”

But Berisha had the last laugh in front of the 13,565 crowd, tapping home from close range in the 56th minute after a failed clearance attempt from Glory defender Alex Grant.

And when a diving George thrust out his right boot to score in the 67th minute, Victory had the three points in the bag.

“Someone on the bench said, ‘I hope they keep singing for louder and longer, because he thrives off that’,” Victory coach Kevin Muscat said of the chants directed at Berisha.

“His performance was very good. And supported by the other 10 players. It was a convincing win in my view.”

Perth, who suffered a 5-2 loss to Wellington last round, slip to seventh spot on goal difference.

Glory’s injury crisis, which had claimed the likes of Adam Taggart (hamstring), Diego Castro (calf), Scott Neville (groin), and Andreu (calf) over the past fortnight, meant their playing stocks were thin.

So much so that coach Kenny Lowe decided to hand a starting debut to Jacob Italiano, who at 16 years and 112 days became the youngest Glory debutant since a 15-year-old Danny De Silva appeared in 2013.

“Those are the cards we are dealt with,” Lowe said.

“There’s probably five starting players out of the side. But we’ve got to deal with that.”

Victory had the best two chances of the opening half.

Berisha came within centimetres of opening the scoring with a glancing header in the 27th minute, only for it to bounce of the upright and into the arms of goalkeeper Liam Reddy.

A short time later, Reddy pulled off a fingertip save to deny a powerful header from Victory defender Rhys Williams, who departed Glory in bitter circumstances at the end of last season.