Fast start fires Victory past Phoenix
Melbourne Victory have finally shaken off their early-season lethargy, easily accounting for Wellington Phoenix 3-1 at AAMI Park and moving themselves up to fifth in the A-League table.
All three Melbourne goals came inside the first 25 minutes and all three featured the involvement of the impressive Carlos Hernandez, although none were scored by him.
Archie Thompson slotted his fifth for the season on four minutes, before a Hernandez blast was deflected into the net on 22 minutes by Vince Lia. Diogo Ferreira then added his second A-League goal with a well-taken shot on 25 minutes.
The margin should have been much greater, with the Victory pounding the goal for much of the remainder of the match but unable to find a fourth. There was a trio of late setbacks for the home side with Billy Celeski sent off, Thompson treated for an ankle injury and then Alex Smith scoring in the 85th minute for Phoenix.
It was undoubtedly their best win of the season to date and may prove the spark they need after registering just two wins in their first ten games. Thompson and Hernandez were excellent while Harry Kewell's run of matches without a goal in open play continued, despite a host of chances.