Muscat: We were in control

Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory head coach Kevin Muscat was pleased with several aspects of his team’s performance in its Derby win over City.

Leroy George’s header in the second half settled the clash at AAMI Park on Friday after Kosta Barbarouses’ opener was cancelled out by a Bruno Fornaroli penalty.

Speaking afterwards, Muscat was asked about his side’s display and the injury that saw George limp off in the second half.

on the importance of the win…
“Only time will tell that, but it feels pretty good right here and now, having witnessed a performance that had many different attributes to it. We had a good look at things through the week and tried a few things and certain things and our first goal comes off the back of something we’d worked on. I daresay after the first goal where Bes (Berisha) was offside and Kosta scores, at that moment there, with the new rules with the VAR, you’re just waiting and you go through the emotion of celebrating and then you’re looking at the group and we’ve started ever so well and you think, ‘What’s going to happen next? What’s coming next?’ and the reaction after that disappointment, to put that aside, showed immense character and belief in what we’re doing and you could just sense the way we set up tonight, there were many aspects to the game, we defended real aggressively with real determination and then when we got the ball, when we broke things down, we were unbelievably dynamic in attack and threatened on a number of occasions.”

on the game…
“I recall back a few weeks ago we almost had double the passes of the opposition and we didn’t win. I can use the stats to push an argument and someone can use the same stats to push a different argument. What was important to me was a lot of that game we were playing in areas and allowing them to have the ball whilst we were in control and there were a lot of passes and where those passes are made and there were opportunities when they were trying to come forward and just picking the right opportunity to press and we were extremely dynamic in the way we attacked from there and that first goal was outstanding and was a real example of us being dynamic in attack. Firstly, Rhys (Williams) winning a header from (Dean) Bouzanis’ long kick, Jimmy (Troisi) works ever so hard and the reverse pass from Bes into Kosta’s path was exceptional. It was an outstanding goal for us.”

“We’ve had to suffer a knockback – the penalty, it hits Leigh (Broxham)’s hand – and then to come back and again the ball from Leigh, it’d be difficult to find a better pass this season than the ball he played in, didn’t have much space, margin for error, and it was probably Leroy’s first ever goal with his head so it’s a collector’s item.”

on George’s injury…
“I don’t know at this point in time. The medical staff are assessing him now. He was feeling both hamstrings so it’s normally a good sign but we’ll have to assess him and have a look at him tomorrow (Saturday).”