Robbie Kruse leads Melbourne Victory to big win over Newcastle Jets
A Robbie Kruse masterclass has helped Melbourne Victory to back to back A-League wins, with the Socceroo leading his side to a 4-0 thumping of Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park.
Kruse opened the scoring in the ninth minute, birthday boy Migjen Basha netted in the 61st and Andrew Nabbout powered home three minutes later, with Kruse having a hand in each goal.
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Matt Millar completed a miserable road trip to Melbourne on Sunday with an 85th- minute own goal.
With Tim Hoogland injured and Ola Toivonen suspended, Jakob Poulsen and Kristijan Dobras earned reprieves in midfield, while Elvis Kamsoba pushed out wide to support Nabbout and Kruse.
Leigh Broxham moved to centre-back in another tactical change for the Victory. The Jets backed in the squad that drew against Brisbane Roar, but Victory dominated from the outset, with Broxham and Kruse spurning early opportunities before the pair created the opening goal.
Broxham delivered a long ball over the top to Kruse, who used his head to control the ball before slammed it past the legs of Glen Moss. Newcastle were largely outclassed and their chances were few and far between – though Dimi Petratos’ hard, low shot forced a sharp save from Lawrence Thomas in the 52nd minute.
Nabbout could have made it 2-0 when Kruse floated the ball across goal in the 57th minute, but the former Jet failed to put his header on target. The miss would not prove costly, with Basha scoring four minutes later. Adama Traore found Kruse on the left flank, who cut inside and forced a save from Moss The goalkeeper could only parry the ball to Basha, allowing the Albanian to celebrate his 33rd birthday in style.
Three minutes later, Poulsen released Kruse down the right hand side and the winger cut the ball back for Nabbout, who took a touch then struck the ball past Moss to secure the points.
Salt was rubbed in the Jets’ wounds in the dying minutes when Millar turned Anthony Lesiotis’ cross into his own net.
The Victory now sit in seventh on goal difference behind Adelaide, while the Jets remain at the bottom of the table.
Meanwhile, Hoogland is set to be out for up to a month after knee surgery scheduled for Monday.
MELBOURNE VICTORY 4 (Kruse 9, Basha 61, Nabbout 64, Miller OG 86)
NEWCASTLE JETS 0
Crowd: 14,582 at AAMI Park
Victory (4-2-3-1): Thomas; Lesiotis, Donachie, Broxham, Traore; Basha (Barnett 74), Poulsen; Nabbout (Hope 80), Dobras (Athiu 62), Kamsoba; Kruse.
Jets (4-2-3-1): Moss; Miller, Jackson, Topor-Stanley, Burns (Koutroumbis 46 (Ridenton 87); Ugarkovic, Kantarovski; Hoffman, Petratos, Langlois; Thurgate (Sheppard 62).
Referee: Daniel Elder
Red cards: Nil
David Davutovic’s Man of the Match
ROBBIE KRUSE (VICTORY)
Marco Kurz’s decision to start him up front in place of suspended Ola Toivonen paid off, with Kruse causing havoc with his movement scoring the vital opener and assisting twice.
Originally published as Victory Kruse to big win over Jets