Kevin Muscat’s Melbourne Victory are going to have a rough year in terms of finding consistency and form. However, they have proven that despite falling short against the likes of Sydney FC and Melbourne City, they can still get it done against the likes of Tony Popovic’s Western Sydney Wanderers.
Before an announced crowd of 21,480, goals from Oliver Bozanic (26′), Jai Ingham (65′) and the new man, Max Beister (85′) powered the Victory to a 3-0 scalp of the Wanderers. After the match, Popovic’s petulance over a missed penalty was on pure display for the pressers. Jason Geria had fouled Western Sydney’s Jumpei Kusukami in the box but the appeals for a penalty were waived off.
“I don’t think we’ll see a clearer one this season,” Popovic said, “maybe it’s a coincidence – we’ve won one out of 11 with Jarred Gillett as a ref. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. I’m sure he’ll come and explain himself. If that’s not a penalty, he should book him for diving. It’s a goalkick, so what’s he done? He’s dived? It can’t be clearer than that.”
“The only thing I can think of is the ref was unsighted,” said Fox Sports’s Mark Bosnich. “I will continue to say until something is done about it – a fifth official would say over his mic; that’s a penalty. It was a blatant penalty. If he’s seen that and not given a penalty then we’re seeing different games.”
In other Victory news, the Melbourne Herald-Sun suggested that the Victory should go after Steven Gerrard, whose contract is up following the conclusion of the 2016 MLS season.
“I’m wondering whether I should play on for a little bit longer or whether I should call it a day. I haven’t 100 per cent decided,” Gerrard said. “I still enjoy playing. I still love coming into training, I still love competing, so if I can carry on and there are opportunities to … go somewhere else for another six months or 12 months, then I’ll consider it. I’m going to be a long time retired.”
With Besart Berisha due to gain citizenship on January 26, a.k.a. Australia Day, there is a chance that Gerrard gets a chance to participate in 10 games and the Finals series if the Liverpool legend chooses to continue his playing career in Australia and with Melbourne Victory. However, do not be surprised if Gerrard elects to prepare for a career managing clubs at this period.
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