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Melbourne Victory manager Kevin Muscat has downplayed the chances of his team winning the Australian A-League title this season. This was despite the team managing their top position in the league standings after a 3-0 win over Wellington Phoenix, who were seen as one of the potential challengers for the title. This defeat has said Wellington drop to fourth in the table with Melbourne opening a two-point advantage along with a game in hand. The Australian A-League has been very tight this season, but Melbourne can extend the advantage with a win from the game in hand.
This would be seen as a strong position for the club, but Muscat is not getting carried away by the recent run of form. Melbourne have not been defeated in the league since the start of March. They have dropped only four points since the 3-2 loss against Wellington. Melbourne Victory have been trying to win the league title for a long time, but this is the first that they have led the table since the 2008-09 season. The players at the club certainly do not seem to have the experience required to win a title and Muscat will have a major job on his hands to maintain the form. Read the rest of this entry »
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Melbourne Victory were involved in a thrilling 3-3 draw with Sydney Wanderers at the Allianz stadium, but the away team boss Kevin Muscat was extremely unhappy with the way the game panned out. Melbourne looked on course for a victory but they were denied by a controversial penalty awarded by the referee.
There were two penalties awarded to the home team in both halves. However, Muscat was unhappy with the second penalty that was scored by Smeltz since he felt that it was awarded for minimal or even no contact.
Refereeing decisions have been the focus in recent weeks with even top leagues being criticised for poor standard of refereeing. Muscat stated that the Australian A-League is also suffering as a result of it. He feels that fans could be turned away from the game if this continues for long. Smeltz ended up scoring the equaliser with five minutes of normal time remaining. Read the rest of this entry »
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Melbourne Victory sustained their first league defeat of the season after locking horns with their rivals Melbourne City FC on December 25 at the Aami Park in a match that concluded with a 1-0 victory for Melbourne City.
Erik Paartalu scored the only goal of the entire match during the last few moments of the game as the midfielder connected with a cross from Mate Dugandzic and headed it into the back of the net of their opponents.
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A raft of injuries and suspension appears to have decimated the Melbourne Victory squad in the last few weeks. This has put a lot of pressure on manager Kevin Muscat, but he says that he has a very strong squad capable of dealing with such issues. Melbourne Victory have been one of the top teams in the Australian A-League this season after having been undefeated in the opening four matches. They sit at top of the table along with Sydney. However, the team had to pay a huge price for this good start after suffering three injuries and suspensions in the latest match against Melbourne City.
Melbourne Victory suffered a 4-2 defeat in this FFA Cup quarter-final match against Melbourne City, but more worryingly, the team will be without a number of key players for the match against Wellington. Manager Muscat, though, said that he has enough strength in depth to be able to replace some of the players. It remains to be seen if he can name five potential first-team replacements in the space of a few days. Matthieu Delpierre and Besart Berisha were the names to suffer an injury during the match, while Archie Thompson was ruled out of the match after injuring during the warmup.
“Trying to put all that aside, it’s disappointing to bow out of a tournament at this stage. We wanted to progress and at the start of the game I thought we showed that intent in the way we were playing. It just wasn’t meant to be, nothing went right on the night. But sifting through the debris now, we’ll have the best side available out on the park on Monday night,” said Muscat. The only dropped points for Melbourne Victory decision has come in the 1-1 draw with Adelaide United a few weeks ago.
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Arsene Wenger once again came in defence of the club record signing Mesut Ozil after his poor performances at the start of the season. The German international has not been on the scoresheet for several months for Arsenal, while it has also not provided his trademark assist since March. The 24-year-old looked especially poor in the recent 2-2 draw with Manchester City with many of the opinion that Arsenal were almost playing with 10 men due to the conspicuous absence of Ozil.
Wenger, who has had to defend Ozil in the past, has said that people should not look at the German from one point of view. After having spent £ 42.5 million on one player, Arsenal fans can expect more from the former Real Madrid star. However, he has been looking woefully short of confidence and it has prevented him from making the right decision on more than one occasion. In the second half of last season, tiredness was attributed towards the performance. This time around, the reason for the poor performances is not clear.
Wenger says that the critics should start looking at the overall contribution that Ozil makes in a game rather than just the highlighting issues like goals and assists. Ozil will be making a return to German football when Arsenal take on Borussia Dortmund in the first group match of the Champions League. “People always have this kind of attitude about him. He worked hard against City and he played quite well. You see a good Ozil when you watch the game again. Then you realise his timing, his quality of the pass and something you can be frustrated during the game but you must not overreact. When you watch the game in a cool manner, you see what a good player he is,” said Wenger.
The A-League merry-go-round continues apace with Craig Goodwin returning to Adelaide United, four years after being told he was not good enough for the club’s youth team, while the former Socceroos midfielder Erik Paartalu is being linked with the Newcastle Jets.
Goodwin has endured a couple of disappointing seasons with the Jets although Newcastle coach Phil Stubbins insists he is disappointed to be losing the services of the 22-year-old left winger. Read the rest of this entry »