Melbourne Victory fans angry at Kevin Muscat's tactics

Kevin Muscat
Victory fans have aired their grievances about their coach's tactics during the 2-1 loss to the Phoenix on Wednesday

Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat has angered the club's fans with several tactical decisions during the 2-1 loss to Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium on Wednesday night.

After Rhys Williams' yellow card was upgraded to red following VAR intervention, Kosta Barbarouses put the 10 men of Victory ahead before half time, before a howler from goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas and unfortunate own goal to Mark Milligan helped Wellington to victory in the second half.

With Victory going 2-1 down in the 83rd minute, Muscat opted to bring on inexperienced defender Stefan Nigro for star striker Besart Berisha three minutes later, instead of using attacking players Jai Ingham and Christian Theoharous.

Despite the team being down to 10 men for more than 80 minutes and having played a match against Central Coast Mariners in sweltering conditions four days earlier, Muscat only made two of the three alloted substitutions, with new signing Terry Antonis also replacing Argentine midfielder Matias Sanchez in the 58th minute.

Victory conceded 30 shots to three in the match as their undermanned team struggled to contain waves of Wellington attacks, particularly in the second half, and supporters took to social media to voice their anger at their coach.

Many were shocked at the lack of substitutions considering the game situation and recent heavy schedule, while others questioned why the Victory coach's choice to bring on a defender for a striker in the dying stages when the match needed salvaging.

Article continues below

There was also question marks raised about the deployment of an underdone Antonis into midfield for Sanchez, leaving the former Sky Blue and Wanderer as the lone central midfielder in a team getting battered because of their man disadvantage.


Victory host a struggling Perth Glory outfit at AAMI Park on Saturday night with a poor result likely to increase the pressure on Muscat.