Analysis: Hyunday A-League: Mariners 3-3 Victory

Football is really an amazing game. Melbourne Victory dominated the first half, kept the ball on Mariners side, hammered their box and the score-line was 3-0 CCM. That’s one of the reasons we love this game.

Victory has been struggling with results lately, with just one triumph in the last 6 matches, but it’s always a pleasure to see Kevin Muscat’s side in action. They match my football philosophy perfectly. They dictate the tempo of the game, put pressure on the opposition during the entire game, are always looking to play forward, hurt the opponent quickly and, more importantly, are a very good team positionally and technically. It’s not a trivial job to move the ball between lines like they do.

And they displayed all their power again easily playing out from the back using the quick drops of Bozanic and Mahazi. I’ll definetly explore that movement in my team. Both midfielders moving fast towards their own box to redistribute the game to the sides and go from there. Whenever the team is getting out, they play direct football to #10 (Finkler) or #9 (Berisha) or even the super-quick wingers Ben Khalfallah and Barbarousses. If none of them can turn and face the attack, they’ll bounce to the sides and continue the flow of play, but it won’t take long for the team to try the killer ball behind the back line. It’s difficult to breathe when playing against them. It’s a thrill to the fans, though.

But obviously no team goes back to the dressing room 3 goals behind for no reason. The team lacked the defensive balance to counter the counters. And the Mariners, currently re-building the team, are finding ways to hurt their opponents with sharp combos in the offensive third, even though they struggle to keep possession. Most of the threat by Tony Walmsley’s squad come from the right side, with the erratic runs by the skilled Fábio Ferreira. Full-backs always have a headache against him. He started the play that originated the corner for the first goal and assisted the second with a brilliant killer pass, exposing the frailties in Victory’s cover system.

Melbourne’s side had nothing to lose on the second part and just kept pounding and as we all know by know Central Coast’s defense isn’t exactly solid and ended up allowing the draw, and it could have easily been 5-3 in an exhilarating, breath-taking match. Watching CCM’s last Sunday against the Roar here last Sunday I felt their fitness is not the best at the moment and they struggled to connect offensive plays after the first half.

As much as there’s criticism to be done in terms of defence, games like that are just extremely good for the bussiness. That’s what families go to the park to see. Sometimes goals won’t be scored, because that’s football, but it’s just amazing to see attacking football. And I’m glad Victory has been such a winner recently. It shows Australian football is moving in the right direction.

Victory 1

The pictures show Victory’s patterns options playing out from the back and building up through the center. Distribution to the sides is quick, usually with one touch. Both depend on quick moves from central players to get rid of their defenders to receive and circulate the ball.

Victory 2

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