Ladder leaders Newcastle have handed a 10-man Melbourne Victory a damaging 4-1 loss at the McDonald Jones Stadium in a match orchestrated by Dimi Petratos.
The Jets’ attacking midfielder had two assists and went close to scoring a goal of his own as Newcastle commanded the game when Victory’s team suffered two hammer blows in the first half.
Rhys Williams saw only 22 minutes of game time before exiting the game with an injury, before Mark Milligan – who’d stepped in for Williams at centre-back – was red carded minutes later for headbutting and grabbing at the throat of former teammate Daniel Georgievski.
Despite the Victory’s strong start which included a spectacular Kosta Barbarouses volley in the first six minutes, the river flowed in the favour of the home side with two goals to Andrew Nabbout and a one each for Daniel Georgievski and Joey Champness.
Glen Moss (GK) – 6
The Kiwi custodian would’ve felt a sickening drop in his stomach on his Newcastle debut when he conceded to countryman Kosta Barbarouses’ cracker but then had little to do thereafter.
Daniel Georgievski – 7.5
Replied to Barbarouses’ cracker with one of his own, teeing it up perfectly and arcing it to the top corner. Did his job defensively and was relentlessly attacking the Victory wide areas when they were down to ten. Came off with an injury later in the game.
Nigel Boogaard (C) – 7
As always, the skipper is a comforting presence in defence and covers every inch of the back third comprehensively. He gets his frame in the way and rarely made a mistake.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley – 7
Was solid in defence in a game where he wasn’t tested too often. He’ll be filthy about that opening Barbarouses goal but, like his partner in defence, did little wrong otherwise.
Ivan Vujica – 7.5
Always a class above at left-back and tempers his game beautifully. Doesn’t overcommit, reads the play well and is delightful cross of the ball.