And breathe.

Seven goals, eight bookings and one sending off later saw Western United walk away with the points in the match of the season so far against Melbourne Victory.

A 95th minute Victor Sanchez goal stole the points for a ten-manned Western United after the Victory had rectified a two-goal deficit midway through the second half in a tie with no shortage of highlights.

Mark Rudan’s side well and truly flipped the script after Tomislav Uskok’s sending off broke the game wide open and allowed the Victory and a six-foot-five Rudy Gestede to take full advantage.

Uskok’s red card came just minutes after Besart Berisha’s five minute brace gave Western United a two goal cushion with 30 minutes to go, with no one able to anticipate what would transpire.

Goals to Jacob Butterfield and Gestede brought a cavernous Marvel Stadium to life as it appeared the Victory would overrun its noisy rivals to the West.

The match certainly had shades of the last meeting at Marvel Stadium between the two sides.

Melbourne Victory wasted little time taking the lead as ex-Wigan winger Callum McManaman smashed home the opener – volleying a Storm Roux cross in the 21st minute.

Making his second start, Dalibor Markovic consolidated his cult-like status among the die-hard fans; playing a pivotal pass through the centre of the park to set up the opening goal.

It did not take long for the visitors to edge their way back into the contest with Basque import Iker Guarrotxena heading a cross onto the crossbar before Max Crocombe was forced into an impressive save off Berisha’s follow up.

Western United would find its equaliser just before the break when Victor Sanchez found the back of the net in the first of several long distanced goals on the night.

While his goals may not have been the most spectacular, the night belonged to one Besart Berisha who – as he so often does – rose to occasion to guide his side to victory.

The Kosovan international reaped the rewards of two perfectly placed Alessandro Diamanti crosses; heading home a five minute brace to give Western United a two goal cushion heading into the final half hour of play.

Returning to the starting line-up, midfielder Jacob Butterfield opened his goalscoring account with a long-ranged effort which ignited the spark for the home side.

Gestede’s header then drew the Victory level, with the ex-Middlesbrough striker having a golden opportunity denied minutes later from goalkeeper Fillip Kurto.

With Western United’s backs against the wall, the green-and-black surged forward with less than a minute remaining. Substitute Lachie Wales’ desperate cross into a congested six yard box spilled to Sanchez whose left-footed swing trickled home to send the Western bench and bay of supporters into raptures.

Defeating Western United remains an unchecked item on the Melbourne Victory to-do list, with the green-and-black extending its unbeaten streak to five matches against the four-time champions.


 MELBOURNE VICTORY 3 (McManaman 21’, Butterfield 62’, Gestede 82)

WESTERN UNITED 4 (Sanchez 42’, Berisha 53’ & 58’, Sanchez 95’)

Red Cards: Uskok 64’

First year Journalism student at RMIT University. Looking to get the truth out while having a bit of fun.