Keisuke Honda lead his star studded Melbourne Victory team to a dominant 4-0 win over the Western Sydney Wanderers tonight in Melbourne.
Western Sydney Wanderers were played off the park, battered against the formidable attacking quintet of Toivonen, Antonis, Barbarouses, Baena and the marquee man Honda. Victory took the lead after 10 minutes, Toivonen isolated Tarek Elrich on the byline, the Melbourne striker found Terry Antonis with a perfect diagonal cut-back, he turned and fired a lobbed cross to the back post, finding Honda all alone, taking advantage poor positioning from Raul Llorente to fire an uncontested header past Vedran Janetovic.
The procession began in earnest on the half-hour. Barbarouses played a simple ball into Baena, Hamill dived to intercept but missed, leaving Elrich to prevent a shot on goal, the winger paused momentarily to allow Tarek to slide off into the sunset before striking it home. The rout continued from the penalty spot, Elrich giving away a penalty by falling at the feet of Barbarouses and knocking out the Victory winger's feet with his head. Barbarouses took the penalty he won, shooting to the opposite direction of Janjetovic's dive for 3-0.
3-0 at the break and Victory looked hardly troubled, the Wanderers were inept across the park. That did not change at the break despite the withdrawal of Abraham Majok & Jordan O'Doherty in favour of Jaushua Sotirio and Marc Tokich. What little opportunity Western Sydney created in the Victory half was inevitably snuffed out by a poor ball or the numerous offside flags from the assistant referee.
Victory took the foot off the pedal, conserving energy while still maintaining a level of danger to the Wanderers goal when required. Honda continued to pull the strings from midfield, carving apart the Wanderers defence like a samurai sword through a Christmas turkey. The final blow came 10 minutes from time as Victory produced the goal of the game and likely the round.
A left foot Honda ball over the top found Barbarouses yet again, the Kiwi international on for a lovely first touch cross into the penalty area. Unselfishly, Toivonen killed the ball dead with a single touch into the path of Antonis. He put his laces right through the ball, Vedran dived the wrong way, and all the Wanderers defence could do was hopelessly appeal for an offside that was neither coming or deserved.
The 4-0 result was a bollocking that drew comparisons to the 2014 Round One 4-1 loss in Melbourne, and to more recent hammerings such as the 4-0 loss in Newcastle or the 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Sydney FC. The Wanderers remain in 8th place, there is little hope of a top 4 run let alone a trophy this year. The club haven't started a season this poorly since the disastrous 2014/15 season where they had a solitary point after 6 rounds and ended the season on just 18.
The Wanderers face the Central Coast Mariners at the Homebush Showground next Friday the 7th of December.