Photo Credit: Emily Mogic Photography

Melbourne Victory triumphed over a determined Western Sydney Wanderers squad in a 5-3 goal fest at Broadmeadows Valley Park on Sunday.

Amid almost perfect conditions, both sides were out to redeem their first round losses.

Victory started the better of the two teams, quickly out of the blocks looking to assert their authority in their first home match. Lisa De Vanna immediately making her presence known charging through the pack and claiming a precision pass from Christine Nairn.

With all of the play heading Melbourne’s way, it was something of a surprise that the Wanderers opened the scoring from a deadly Keelin Winters free-kick.

Down 1-0 early in the match was not the position Victory were hoping to find themselves in. Unable to come back from a 1-0 deficit in their round 1 clash, the atmosphere amongst the fans quitened. Would the midfield fire, could this team score goals?

Questions answered. The midfield definitely fired and goals were definitely scored.

Amy Jackson started the scoring for Victory by heading home off a perfect Nairn corner kick.

Nairn was without doubt the key player of the match for Melbourne, starring in her first home game. If the locals didn’t know who she was before the match, they definitely do now.

Nairn notched up a W-League record five assists and was unlucky not to score a goal herself. With great technical skills and intelligent game sense, combined with physical strength on and off the ball; it’s no wonder the Melbourne fans have immediately taken to the Washington Spirit star. Nairn epitomises the requirements of the W-League, versatility, creativity and quality.

Across the park, Melbourne had more quality to offer than the Wanderers. The Wanderers didn’t go down for lack of trying, but when De Vanna easily nutmegs one player, crunches another and blitzes past a third and fourth, any young squad would start to wonder what they need to do to peg them back.

Racheal Quigley showcased why she was Adelaide United’s number one striker, scoring a decisive brace for her new family. Beattie Goad was also influential and worked hard throughout, continually tracking back to support the midfield and bursting forward into attack.

The end result of 5-3 was possibly a little flattering for the Wanderers as they were clearly outplayed by Victory.

That said, Keelin Winters, Hannah Beard and Helen Petinos all played well for the Wanderers. Winters in particular worked relentlessly around the ground, scoring a brace to keep them in the match.

Michelle Carney was also prominent for the Wanderers, marauding and harassing the Victory defense. Towards the end of the match, this extra pressure culminated in a defensive mix up, allowing Carney to beat ‘keeper Bri Davey in a one on one contest.

Was there a moment when the balance of this match could have swung differently? Perhaps not.

Whilst the Wanderers opened the scoring, as soon as Amy Jackson equalised eight minutes later, Victory looked composed and largely untroubled for the rest of the game.

There were many goals scored but Melbourne were able to adapt to whatever the Wanderers threw at them and for everything that the Wanderers had, Melbourne were able to reach in and pull out more.