News Live Scores
AFC Champions League

Anderson Talisca a looming nightmare for Melbourne Victory

04:20 IST 23/04/2019
Talisca Guangzhou 2019
Can Victory shut down the Chinese giants' main man?

It only took 10 minutes for Guangzhou Evergrande's superstar Anderson Talisca to utterly destroy Melbourne Victory in their first Asian Champions League encounter earlier this month.

After hitting the crossbar with a free kick in the fourth minute, the Brazilian superstar ghosted in at the back post only 120 seconds later to get up above Corey Brown and Leigh Broxham to head his team into the lead.

Barely three minutes later Talisca had his second goal as he cut in from the right-hand wing, took advantage of the space given to him by Brown, and curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner.

Game over with the final score a 4-0 drubbing.

Now Victory must welcome their Samba nemesis to AAMI Park on Tuesday night with only a win likely to keep their hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage - having failed to get a point in their first three matches.

Since usual left-back Brown was given such a torrid time by Talisca, veteran utility Leigh Broxham has played the last two A-League games in the position and will likely be entrusted with the job to shut down the 25-year-old winger.

But Talisca recent form would be terrifying for any defender - especially a part-time full back - scoring six goals in his last four matches with three braces coming against derby rivals Guangzhou R&F, Victory and Shandong Luneng.

His previous match on Friday, in which he scored a 95th-minute winner against Shandong, saw the opposition coach Li Xiaopeng liken him to NBA superstar Steph Curry.

"Talisca is just like NBA star Stephen Curry. You know how he scores, but you can't stop it," Shandong manager Xiaopeng said.

If Melbourne Victory fails to keep Talisca under control it will likely be the sixth time in seven attempts that they have failed to get out of the group in the Asian Champions League.

Coach Kevin Muscat has flagged changes to the first XI with the slim hopes of progression mixed in with a looming A-League finals campaign, but still wanted his team to focus on performance even if the score isn't as important.

"Safe to say there'll be a few changes to our team tomorrow night, opportunity for certain players," Muscat said.

"We haven't finalised that at this stage, but we will make some changes to the team. We will give opportunity. We've had quite a few injuries throughout the year as well.

"Some of it will be out of precaution and some of it will be purely opportunity for others.

"We've got to stay and remain in that I suppose focus and that zone that these next two games do mean a hell of a lot, it might not from the scoreline, but there's so much more to games of football than the end result."