Melbourne Victory returned to form in sensational fashion with a convincing 4-0 win over Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Friday night.
Victory came into the match in desperate need of a positive result, making one change to the starting XI with captain Josh Brillante returning whilst Ben Folami dropped to the bench.
Bruno Fornaroli was in the squad for the first time having joined the club during the week, whilst Jason Geria made his comeback from injury via the bench.
Victory came out with plenty of energy, clearly intent on breaking their goal-drought and returning to the winners’ list.
The home side’s positive start did not take long to be rewarded, as superstar recruit Luis Nani drew a foul in the penalty area just over 10 minutes into the game.
Jake Brimmer stood up to execute the spot-kick, with the ball dribbling under Michael Weier and giving Victory a vital lead.
Victory continued to control proceedings after the goal, regularly threatening on the counter.
Nani came desperately close to doubling Victory’s lead when his long-range strike thundered off the crossbar.
Victory did find the back of the net for a second time just before the break, but Chris Ikonomidis‘ goal was controversially ruled out for handball.
Half-time arrived with Victory firmly in control, although the lead was a slender one at 1-0.
Ikonomidis did not take long to make amends for his disallowed goal, as just five minutes into the second half a delightfully weighted ball from Rai Marchan found the winger who fired home Victory’s second of the night from a tight angle.
Tony Popovic’s side rode the wave of momentum from Ikonomidis’ goal, as just a few minutes later a lightning-quick counter-attacking move saw Brimmer play an outstanding ball to Nick D’Agostino with the outside of his boot, before Victory’s leading man nailed the finish to make it 3-0.
A quick start to the second half had all but sealed the result, with the Jets’ best chance for a way back into the game quickly ruled out for offside.
Victory fans soon had more reason to celebrate, with Fornaroli making his debut for the club off the bench after 75 minutes, before Geria made his return from injury official in the final few minutes of the game.
Victory would be given a golden opportunity to score their fourth when a second penalty of the night was awarded in the dying stages of the game.
Fornaroli seized his chance to make an impact, stepping up to the spot before cooly finishing into the bottom left corner to mark his Victory debut with a goal.
A sensational return to form for Victory who proved far too strong for the Jets in front of a raucous home crowd.
Jake Brimmer’s assist was something else…
Player in focus
Luis Nani showed some of his very best football on Friday night, posing a consistent threat down the right wing.
The Portuguese legend put to rest any doubts as to his ability to dominate games in the A-League Men’s and proved how important he is to a functioning Victory attack.
Victory secured their second win of the campaign, propelling them back into the top six with just one more week until the World Cup break.
Isuzu UTE A-League 2022/23 Round 5
Melbourne Victory 4 (Brimmer (pen) 16′, Ikonomidis 50′, D’Agostino 54′, Fornaroli (pen) 89′)
Newcastle Jets 0
Victory’s final game before the World Cup break is a massive clash away to Adelaide United next Friday night.