Melbourne Victory recorded a win over Western United for the first time with an impressive 6-1 success at AAMI Park on Friday.
Victory produced a stellar performance, particularly in the first half, to collect three points in the A-League clash played behind closed doors.
Jake Brimmer, Rudy Gestede, Elvis Kamsoba and Ben Folami scored in the first half before Alessandro Diamanti’s penalty.
Kamsoba completed his brace in the second half, to go with a stunning Jacob Butterfield strike, in an outstanding Victory performance.
Both teams had early efforts from distance, with Victory goalkeeper Matt Acton making a comfortable save to deny Diamanti before Sebastian Pasquali saw a strike go just wide in the 10th minute.
Just two minutes later and Victory opened the scoring through Brimmer, who had earlier tested Western goalkeeper Ryan Scott.
A cross from Storm Roux was cleared and the midfielder drilled his strike into the top corner for his fifth goal of the A-League season.
Victory almost doubled the lead through Kamsoba, who was denied by Scott after a Folami pass.
Callum McManaman was the next to go close, the attacker almost picking out the top corner, only to see his strike hit the woodwork.
But Victory would go 2-0 up thanks to Gestede midway through the first half.
Butterfield won possession before finding Folami, who waited for a powerful run from Adama Traore and the left-back delivered for Gestede to put away a good finish.
Folami was involved in two more Victory goals in a scintillating first half.
Kamsoba tucked away Victory’s third after Folami beat his defender down the left before cutting back to his fellow attacker.
Folami made it 4-0 to Victory with another strong run down the left, before finishing at Scott’s near post in the 36th minute.
Western pulled a goal back on the stroke of half-time through Diamanti, who put away a penalty following a Folami handball.
Victory’s four-goal lead was restored shortly after the break as Kamsoba finished clinically after a one-two with McManaman on the right side of the area.
Victory continued to push for more and Butterfield forced Scott into a diving save from 20 yards in the 69th minute.
Leigh Broxham ensured Victory retained a 5-1 lead with a clearance off the line from Lachlan Wales’ header with 15 minutes remaining.
Victory would get a sixth through Butterfield, who produced a spectacular strike into the top corner from the edge of the area, before Gianluca Iannucci made his A-League debut off the bench in the closing stages.
Player in focus
What they said – Butterfield
on his goal…
“It was nice though, from the corner, nice little one-two with Stormy (Roux) and it just opened up so, I like to hit it when I get a chance around the box, I’ll always let it go if I get a chance and it went in, it was a great feeling, topped off a great win for us so a good night for us.”
on strong defence…
“I think all season we’ve been guilty of giving too many goals away so I think especially over the last five or six games, we’ve been creating a lot of chances, not scoring enough goals but creating the chances so we had the confidence that we would get chances tonight so if we defended well and worked on that foundation we felt like we could cause them problems going the other way and thankfully we got the goals tonight and it was a good win for us.”
Hyundai A-League 2020/21
Western United 1 (Alessandro Diamanti 45+3′)
Melbourne Victory 6 (Jake Brimmer 12′, Rudy Gestede 22′, Elvis Kamsoba 33’/50′, Ben Folami 36′, Jacob Butterfield 82′)
Western United: Scott (gk); Pierias (Milanovic 66′), Imai, Uskok, Hamill, Pain; Diamanti (c), Pasquali (Skotadis 45′), Duzel (Lustica 66′), Guarrotxena (Bayew 67′); Wales.
Melbourne Victory: Acton (gk); Roux, Broxham (c), Ryan, Traore; Brimmer, Butterfield; Kamsoba (Brooks 69′), McManaman (Iannucci 90+1′), Folami (Velupillay 70′); Gestede.
Yellow cards: Pain 8′, Guarrotxena 55′, McManaman 55′, Uskok 88′
Red cards: Nil
Venue: AAMI Park
Victory’s last game of the A-League season is against City at Marvel Stadium on Sunday, June 6.