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Victory firm for A-League title after drought-breaking derby win

Melbourne Victory
MELBOURNE Victory has firmed into the $4.20 second favourite at for the 2016/17 A-League title after snapping a five-game winless streak against bitter rivals Melbourne City on Saturday night.

The Victory were at $7 just two weeks ago for the title, but have since surged into the premiership frame after their fantastic come-from-behind win over their Melbourne rivals, which saw Kevin Muscat’s men leapfrog John van’t Schip’s side into second position on the ladder.

The big V went behind early in the match after Socceroo legend Tim Cahill found the back of the net, but the Victory found an equaliser just before the half time break. They later found the lead through the prolific Besart Berisha and were never headed to record their first derby win since late 2015.

The goal was Berisha’s fourth goal in two weeks which has placed him at the top of the golden boot betting market at at the $3.30 quote.

The goal scoring machine said he doubted whether he could have had a positive impact on the outcome of the match after missing several early chances.

“I had a couple of chances in the beginning and I thought, ‘Oh my god, I’m not going to score any more. What is going on?’,” Berisha said. “I was very emotional coming into this game. We had lost the last two (derbies).

“(At halftime) I was very angry. I went inside and smashed everything around. A-League odds

“I motivated myself. I tell myself, ‘one more chance you’re going to get and you’ve gotta be there’.

“In the end I’m very happy that I scored the winner.”

Victory manager Kevin Muscat said that while he was unhappy that his front man would lash out in such a fashion, his response after the break was ideal.

“If he did smash anything he’ll be replacing it himself, I can guarantee you that,” Muscat said.

“I asked him to maintain his composure and keep getting in goal scoring positions. He said ‘I’ll score in the second half. The self-belief that he’s got is unmatched in anything I’ve seen in this country.”

Hot on the heels of the Victory are Berisha’s former side the Brisbane Roar.

The Roar moved into third position on the ladder (locked on 20 points alongside Melbourne) after a hard-fought 2-1 win over the Central Coast Mariners in Gosford.

The win was Brisbane’s second in a row in the midst of an undefeated streak that extends all the way back to their shock round 2 loss against Newcastle away from home.

Despite the terrific record the Roar ($7) remain on the fourth line of title betting at

Roar manager John Aloisi said that while he is happy for his side to fly under the radar as the new year approaches there is still plenty of development to be made if they are to elevate themselves into genuine premiership contenders.

“We’re still picking up points, we’re still playing some good stuff, creating chances, defending with desperation when we have to,” Aloisi said.

“But we know there’s still a lot of improving left in our side in a lot of different areas.

“Any team that wants to win needs to look to improve each week, they have to look for motivation from within. We’ve got those players.

“We’ve got a good Christmas period coming … the players are very easy to motivate when you’re playing the Wanderers at home.”

2016/17 A-League title betting market

Odds provided by

Sydney FC $4

Melbourne Victory $4.20

Melbourne City $5

Brisbane Roar $7

Western Sydney Wanderers $10

Perth Glory $13

Wellington Phoenix $26

Adelaide United $26

Newcastle Jets $34

Central Coast Mariners $67

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