Muscat defends Victory skipper

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat has sought to play down a contentious incident involving club captain Mark Milligan, who escaped punishment for elbowing Sydney FC’s Terry Antonis on Saturday night.

The Big V skipper left his opponent with a deep cut to the forehead mid-way through the first half, replays appearing to incriminate the Victory man, who could face retroactive suspension by a match review panel. 

Speaking after an entertaining 3-3 draw at Etihad Stadium, Muscat expressed his wish that no further action be taken after referee Peter Green opted not to award a free-kick or produce a card.

“I’d love to comment, but from where I was, they’re running towards each other, Milligan’s obviously got his eyes are on the ball because he’s ended up heading it,” he said.

“And the referee’s five yards away. 

“I dare say the referee’s seen it and he dealt with in the manner that he thought was appropriate. He obviously had a better angle and view than me.”

Muscat reserved special praise for hat-trick hero Archie Thompson, the club stalwart making amends for an uncharacteristically sloppy display at the back from the hosts.

“He took his goals well, there was some good play from our perspective,” the coach said.

“Certainly Archie took his goals really well. I thought we looked dangerous … going forward.”

Victory remain unbeaten in the A-League this season but must tighten up at the back in next weekend’s derby against Melbourne City if they are to avoid a repeat of the defensive errors that gifted the Sky Blues several soft goals on Saturday.

“When we sit back and watch that again we’ll be even more disappointed,” Muscat said.

“You score three goals at home to you expect to win. Very soft (defending) from our perspective.”

They will tackle City without first-choice fullback Daniel Georgievski, who missed Saturday’s game following a training ground injury, although Scott Galloway and Guilherme Finkler are likely to return to selection contention.

“Georgievski will be a couple of weeks minimum, just a unfortunate incident right at the end of training,” Muscat said.