Perth Glory triumph, handing Victory, whose season only seems to be getting worse, a crushing loss.
In the build up, with his speculative remarks regarding the abundance of former glory players involved in this game, Tony Sage gave Victory more ammunition. comparing them to ‘Perth Glory’s B-team’.
Glory maintained a similar build-up shape as previous matches, which moved Khelifi into an advanced position, pinning Ben Folami, and giving Mustafa Amini room to maneuver. Victory, however, made a number of changes, among them the addition of potent striker Bruno Fornaroli.
Victory’s lack of understanding in the final third was evident in both their pressing sequences, which Perth easily played through, as well as their lack of methodical movements and passing combinations in possession.
Not long after a penalty shout, Jelacic blew two excellent guilt-edge chances. All chances coming as a result of the right flank being preemptively targeted by Khelifi and Ryan Williams.
Ryan Williams did finally turn their pressure into a goal in the 36th minute. Nestling a right-footed shot into the bottom right hand-corner of Matt Acton’s goal. Once again, coming from the excellent work of Mustafa Amini and Khelifi.
Further demonstrating Perth Glory’s excellent transitional play was Ryan Williams’ daring attempt in the 41st minute.
Now in the second half, things took a turn for the worse when Chris Ikonomidis made an aggressive challenge on Clisby. This resulted in a tangling of legs, provoking a subsequent kick-out from Ikonomidis . Clisby responded to the tackle angrily, knocking Ikonomidis to the ground and allegedly putting his hand on Ikonomidis’ neck. The referee’s initial decision of red for Clisby, but only a yellow for Ikonomidis changed following a VAR check, and both players were eventually sent from the field.
Melbourne tied the game in the 68th minute thanks to a wonderful and athletic finish from substitute Roderick Miranda, although indisputably against the run of play.
Adam Taggart entered the game for his second Perth Glory debut right after conceding. Something that fans of Glory have been desperately hoping for
Not long after this, Adam Target celebrated his comeback with a beautifully guided header, with Jacob Dowse serving as the provider.
The goal was well-earned and a fantastic way for him to make a comeback. It wasn’t his only, though. Matt Action made a bad mistake, allowing Taggart to pounce for his second.
Glory held out for a memorable home victory—their third in four games—despite an intriguing final few minutes.
Macedonia Park Sell-out
This season, Macedonia Park was completely sold out for the first time. It was evident throughout the game that the Glory players were fired up by the boisterous crowd, and their zeal eventually spilled over to Jack Clisby, who was sent off in the 51st minute.
Tactically Inept Popovic
In order to effectively utilize Johnny Koutroumbis’ ability to play in a back-three, Ruben Zadkovich has consistently directed attacks down the right flank throughout the 22–23 season. This, however, appeared to blindside Tony Popovic’s team, and Noah Smith was mercilessly targeted. As a result of this and their obvious inability to adapt to Glory’s well-known style of play and strengths, Melbourne Victory suffered their fourth defeat in five games. Leaving serious doubts about Popovic’s covert tactical effectiveness.
Perth Glory 3 (Ryan Williams-37th minute, Adam Taggart -80th and 87th minute)
Melbourne Victory 1 (Joshua Brillante -69th minute)