Melbourne Victory lost 5-0 again and this time it was Sydney FC who gave Kevin Muscat’s side a hiding.
Italian legend Alessandro Del Piero was the star on Australia Day, scoring two goals for Frank Farina’s side and he could have score more.
As good as Sydney was, Melbourne looked uninspired and arguably made Sydney look better than what it really is.
Here are my thoughts on the game:
· the encounter last year was billed by some people as “Del Piero Day” but Marco Rojas stole the show in a 3-1 win to the Victory. This time Del Piero was the clear star of the show. Aside from his two goals, he showed great skill, intelligence and poise throughout the match. He punished Victory for giving him too much space
· there was so much space, Sydney’s full-backs were able to go forward with freedom. Sebastian Ryall’s solo goal to make it 3-0 epitomised that freedom
· the Victory midfield and attack did not click. Andrew Nabbout made some runs but struggled to link-up with his teammates. Kosta Barbarouses was invisible for most of the time and James Troisi made one notable pass to Archie Thompson early in the second half, which the veteran volleyed over the bar
· for those outside of Australia reading this, there is an advertisement on Australian television about women’s rights and the line at the end of the ad is: “Violence against women: Australia says ‘No!’” Sydney’s fans targeted Melbourne’s veteran striker Thompson, who still manages to win caps for the Socceroos and after Victory’s insipid performance, they chanted: “Archie Thompson: Australia says, ‘No!’” Such comments would be considered to be tasteless, especially comparing two diverse topics but Sky Blues fans were adamant that Thompson shouldn’t be considered for another call-up for the Socceroos
Muscat must consider changing his tactics for the match against Perth Glory on Friday night. The 4-2-2-2 with two attacking midfielders, two wide forwards and no centre-forward worked under Ange Postecoglou but the current Socceroos coach is a shrewd tactician, unlike Muscat. The 4-2-3-1 would be adequate and Rogic must start in the attacking midfield trio.
Farina can be happy with the performance of his team but facing a rejuvenated Melbourne Heart on Friday night might offer a different challenge. Michael Mifsud is likely to squander a plethora of easy chances but Mate Dugandzic and Harry Kewell should pose a threat to the Sky Blues defenders. At least offensively, Sydney can rely on some Del Piero magic to make them tick.