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Western United FC
Western United FC
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Western United retain bragging rights as they defeated Melbourne Victory 3-1 courtesy a brace from Besart Berisha, a dagger into his former team, at the GMHBA Stadium.
The game started off in exhilarating fashion, with Victory gaining first blood as Andrew Nabbout opening the scoring with a brilliant run followed by an even better finish in the 14th minute.
Victory barely had any time to enjoy their lead as United equalised just as fast, with Berisha getting in behind the defence to put head the ball in.
It only took seven more minutes for United to take the lead, as Panagiotis Kone put away Alessandro Diamanti’s cross from the free kick.
Berisha added another before half-time to cap off a brilliant half of football, and also meant that the initiative was on Victory to take the game in the next 45 minutes.
Mark Rudan was happy for his team to sit back, with their first ball in the box coming in stoppage time, and Victory failed to find a way to break down the deep defence of Western United.
Another loss for Melbourne Victory leaves them 10th in the ladder, their lowest after nine fixtures, and there will be plenty of questions for Marco Kurz to answer in the next week.
The Perth Glory win last week seems to have been a false dawn, and the pressure will be starting to mount on the former Adelaide United coach.
As for Western United, they have shut down their two-game losing run with a huge, deserved win against their Melbourne rivals which currently leaves them in third place.
Western United 3
Melbourne Victory 1
The second round of the Melbourne derby between Western United and Melbourne Victory will take place as both sides hope to gain or regain bragging rights over their rivals at the GMHBA Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 4pm (AEDT).
The last time these two teams met in round four, United enacted a huge comeback to turn a 2-0 deficit into three points as former Victory striker Besart Berisha stole the show.
Coach Mark Rudan will be hoping that this time there is no need for a reversal and that United can, for once, start on the front foot.
Rudan has had troubles motivating his team from the first whistle as they fall behind in games regularly before staging a heroic comeback.
More recently though, the new A-League team has had problems showing up at all, with two consecutive defeats against lower ranked sides Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle Jets.
After their own struggles, Victory will be hoping that last week’s win against Perth Glory can kick start their season.
A United low on form at the moment might be the perfect time for Marco Kurz to earn some revenge from their previous defeat.
A must-win match for both teams – United will be falling into crisis territory if they lose for the third time in a row, while Victory already facing plenty of questions – means that this derby will carry an extra bit of importance to go alongside the fiery passion.
The second meeting of these two teams will end with a draw. More afraid to lose, and two teams that have strategies that require the other team to attack and then be caught in transition will mean that there will be few openings for either one to take.
Where: GMHBA Stadium
When: 8 December 2019, 4pm AEDT
Betting odds: Western United $2.20, Draw $3.50, Melbourne Victory $3.25