Macarthur FC have jumped to second position on the A-League ladder, after a 3-1 demolition of Melbourne Victory at Campbelltown Stadium on Friday night.
It was the second meeting between the two sides in as many weeks and saw the Bulls secure the much need maximum points on both occasions to keep their maiden A-League Finals hopes alive.
A Matt Derbyshire double ensured the Bulls locked in the back to back wins and in doing so, put them above Sydney FC, the Mariners & Adelaide United on the ladder in the process.
After just four minutes of play, the Bulls striker would pounce on a slip from centre back Dylan Ryan and chipped it over Victory keeper Matt Acton for the opener.
The Bulls looked like they were in mood to really test and take the game to the Victory. The Macarthur faithful didn’t have to wait long to continue their cheers for the home side when James Meredith found the back of the Victory net for the second time in as many weeks.
Five minutes before the break, after some sensational team lead up work from Markel Susaeta and Charles M’Mombwa, Meredith finished off a perfectly weighted chip into the box from Jake McGing, to give the home side a two goal buffer at half time.
At the resumption of play, The Bulls went into their shell, allowing Victory to create several good chances, eventually cracking the Bulls defence through Elvis Kamsoba.
With the Bulls looking to protect their lead, Macarthur head coach Ante Milicic turned to super-sub Michael Ruhs, as they did against Melbourne City a few weeks ago.
It turned to be an inspired substitution, and the spark the Bulls needed to put the match to bed.
With time winding down, Ruhs found himself in clear space in the centre of the field. Charging towards Victory Keeper Matt Acton, Ruhs turned provider this week for the ever present Matt Derbyshire, finishing off the well worked run with his second goal for the evening and locking away the three points for the Bulls.
Speaking to the media at full-time, Ante Milicic said:
“For a team that prides itself on its possession and passing game we gave the ball away cheaply. There was a little bit of tension out there, we defended well but we invited pressure on ourselves way too much in the second half,” said Bulls boss Ante Milicic.
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“We were very vulnerable in transition. I thought we were our worst enemy,” Bulls coach Ante Milicic said.
The win sees the Bulls extended their club record unbeaten run to five games.
“We’ve put ourselves in a position where we don’t need to rely on others (to make the finals) everything is in our hands,” Milicic added.
The Bulls now have a 9 day break, before flying to Perth to take on Glory on Sunday May 23.