Berisha brace sees off Glory

Both coaches conceded their teams need to work on controlling possession after Melbourne Victory defeated Perth Glory 3-0 at AAMI Park on Sunday.

In Victory’s first pre-season fixture against Hyundai A-League opposition, Kevin Muscat’s men triumphed thanks to Gui Finkler’s deflected free-kick before the break and a second-half double from Besart Berisha.

But after watching both teams struggle at times in a rusty first half, Muscat claimed the Big V need to calm down with the ball, particularly when they steal possession off the opposition.

“The biggest thing we can take out of this is when we win the ball back, [because] we want to go and score so quickly, we turn over possession and it becomes a bit of a fight for the ball,” the 41-year-old coach said after the game.

“You know, you work so hard to retrieve the ball, you’ve got to be a little bit more careful when you’ve got it.”

Lowe was whistling a similar tune as he claimed all three of Victory’s goals came from turnovers from his team.

“We’ve got to learn to be a little more patient at times,” he said.

“We see things and want to play them a little bit quickly but if we’re a little bit more patient, move the ball around, we’ll get even more opportunities.

“You saw, on the edge of the box, four or five times, we’ve ended up striking from distance when we’ve had opportunities to have little bits of combination play and stuff like that. But I was pleased.”

Muscat was reserved in his praise throughout his post-match chat with reporters but insisted “in all, we [Victory] were pretty good”.

The former defender added he thought the home side did well in defence, often pressing high and generally looking organised in a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Victory’s second goal was a classic example with the hosts winning possession in Perth’s defensive third before Finkler picked out Berisha, who cut inside his marker to thrash the ball into the net.

“It was quite a bit of good work in forcing an error out of them in that third,” Muscat said.

“Structurally I think we set up reasonably well…and then when you do win it in that final third, the rewards are pretty big. And it landed to him [Berisha] and obviously it was a very good finish.”

Victory’s next match will be their FFA Cup round of 16 trip to Tuggeranong United on September 16, while Glory will return to Melbourne a week after that to play St Albans Saints in the same competition.