FULL TIME - Melbourne Victory 3 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62" Finkler 90+5) defeated Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Juric 90+4)
A game filled with tension at half time came to life in the second half as Melbourne Victory powered past Western Sydney Wanderers with two goals in a 10-minute burst.
Wanderers threatened to pull off a miracle in six minutes of stoppage time, only to concede the sealing goal straight after.
Andrew Nabbout's concussion and injury in the first half will be the major concern out of this one for Melbourne.
For Michael Lynch's match report and ongoing coverage of the A-League season, stay logged on to this website.
FULL TIME - MV 3 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62" Finkler 90+5) WSW 1 (Juric 90+4)
The final whistle goes and Melbourne gets to celebrate a win that keeps any hope of a op two finish alive.
90+4- MV 3 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62" Finkler 90+5") WSW 1 (Juric 90+4")
Finkler seals the points!
Troisi slipped him through with a ball on the left side of the penalty area...Covic came off his line, but Finkler guided a shot under the Wanderers keeper and it rolled into the net!
90+4- MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 1 (Juric 90+4")
Wanderers with a hope!
Tomi Juric slid in to finish Hersi's cross from the right.
Wanderers have two minutes to pull off a miracle.
90+3 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Mooy takes the ball off Brown...he tries to play through Ono but Broxham gets across to block his run at the ball.
90+1 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Finkler puts his free kick narrowly over the bar!
90.00 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Barbarouses plays through Finkler on the left side of the area...he's hauled down with a professional foul from Hersi!
Ben Williams produces a yellow card! Perhaps a lucky escape for Hersi...it was a cynical challenge.
Free kick to Melbourne on the edge of the area as the fourth official annoucnes six minutes of stoppage time.
87.00 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Finkler in a central position on half way...turns and plays through Barbarouses in a central-right channel! Barbarouses streams into the penalty area but his shot from a moderate angle is straight at Covic!
The Wanderers keeper didn't know much about it but made himself big and deflected the ball away.
84.45 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Barbarouses sends a cross from deep on the right to Finkler at the top of the area...he plays a one-two with Troisi and attempts a left-footed shot but it's blocked off the boot and loops up kindly for Covic to collect.
83.00 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Leijer hacks down Hersi from behind with a professional foul and gets a yellow card.
Free kick in midfield, Western Sydney set up for a set piece but take it short.
Brown intercepts and feeds a pass to Troisi...Troisi has a clean look at goal and runs from half way into the penalty area! But his shot is underhit and an easy save for Covic!
Tonight's attendance at AAMI Park is 14,774.
80.30 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Juric tries his luck with a left-foot shot from the top-right corner of the area, but it goes high and wide.
Melbourne making it's third and final change with James Jeggo off and Jordan Brown on for his A-League debut.
It's a huge moment for the youngster, who only just returned to action via the youth league team from an ACL reconstruction at the start of the season.
77.00 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Thompson is getting ice strapped to his left hamsring on the bench.
76.15 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Makarounas' first touch is to take possession on the right, then cut to the top of the area for Finkler! Who skies his first-time shot on goal.
75.00 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
High ball into the penalty area...headed away by Murnane, but Juric swiped his legs out from under him with an attempted volley!
It's just a foul though, Juric is already on a yellow.
Melbourne Victory will make a sub, with Archie Thompson coming off and Jesse Makarounas on.
70.30 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Third and final sub for Wanderers as Tahj Minniecon comes off and Shinji Ono comes on.
69.00 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Jeggo has cramped and needs on-field treatment...so the referee calls a drinks break.
68.00 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Juric is booked for tripping Jeggo as he ran away from the Sydney striker.
66.45 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Cross into the area from the left by Juric looking for Bridge...Traore dives in the way to put the ball out for a corner.
Western Sydney go for a short corner but Mooy's attempt at a cross is deflected behind for another corner.
Third corner to the near post...bundled out for a fourth!
Mahazi gets first head at the near post and is fouled for his trouble. Melbourne survive four straight Wanderers corners.
65.00 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Free kick to Wanderers wide on the right...Mooy swings it near post where it falls into a pack of players...Heffernan poked it goalwards but there wasn't enough power to beat Coe who held the save.
62.30 - MV 2 (Thompson 52" Barbarouses 62") WSW 0
Barbarouses doubles the Victory lead.
Finkler dinked a ball from a central-right position for Barbarouses to run onto...Barbarouses was running at Topor-Stanley...he feigned right, then advanced to the left and powered a shot past Covic!
It was a beautiful finish across the keeper into the bottom-left corner.
Kosta with the 1st time all you can eat buffetball and along came Archie with his knife and fork! Lovely football #MVCvWSW — Paul Ifill (@PaulIfill) January 14, 2014
58.00 - MV 1 (Thompson 52") WSW 0
Brendon Santalab makes way for Tomi Juric. Santalab may have scored on his last visit to Melbourne but he couldn't capitalise on the chances that presented tonight.
58.00 - MV 1 (Thompson 52") WSW 0
Cross from deep on the right by Mahazi...perfect for Troisi but he can't generate power in the header! Held by Covic.
Bridge becomes the second player booked for a foul in midfield.
56.00 - MV 1 (Thompson 52") WSW 0
Minniecon wins a corner for Western Sydney...there will be a sub before the corner though as Appiah is taken off and Youssouf Hersi comes on.
Mooy with the corner to the near post...headed away by Troisi...and a counter-attack chance for Barbarouses!
But his touch while running with the ball is heavy and allows D'Apuzzo to take possession and clear.
53.30 - MV 1 (Thompson 52") WSW 0
This is Archie Thompson's first start since November and while it hasn't been a dynamic performance by any means, he showed all the right striker's instincts to score the opener.
53.00 - MV 1 (Thompson 52") WSW 0
Archie Thompson puts Melbourne Victory 1-0 up!
Service on a silver platter from Kosta Barbarouses.
Mahazi was in a central position and fed the ball out to Barbarouses on the right...Barbarouses was unmarked and hit a first time ball, low through the area to Thompson at the back post...Thompson was unmarked too and had an easy tap-in!
That should liven up the game.
49.30 - MV 0 WSW 0
Troisi and Heffernan chasing a high ball over the top...Heffernan pushed Troisi to the ground! It looked more like a show of strength than a foul but the fans are howling for a free kick!
Referee Ben Williams pulls Gui Finkler aside for a word about the level of backchat.
46.30 - MV 0 WSW 0
Two Victory players are down...Leijer after being hit in his man zone by the ball, while Heffernan fouled Troisi.
Leijer needs some attention but Troisi is okay to continue. Heffernan gets the first yellow card fo the night for his foul.
KICK-OFF - MV 0 WSW 0
Melbourne Victory starts the second half attacking the Yarra End while Western Sydney Wanderers will attack the Swan St End.
No half time substitutes, meaning Nabbout off for Finkler is the only change to to date.
I saw a Wanderers guy kick a Victory guy in the head. Does that mean both teams lose 3 points? #MVCvWSW #Nabbout — Jarrod Cunningham (@mobey_6) January 14, 2014
HALF TIME - MV 0 WSW 0
Western Sydney's best spell is followed by the half-time whistle, much to the relief of Melbourne.
Chances have presented at both ends but it's Wanderers with greater control on the tempo of the game.
Andrew Nabbout's injury required a trip to hospital after he was knocked out by a boot ot the head from Dean Heffernan.
45+6 - MV 0 WSW 0
High ball into the area bought down by Santalab...who shoots from the right on a tight angle at Coe's near post!
Coe knocks it out for a corner...Santalab gets first touch on the corner but puts it high over the bar!
Western Sydney dominating at the end of this first half but getting no reward.
45+5 - MV 0 WSW 0
Topor-Stanley is bleeding after his header on goal and has to go to the sidelines.
Western Sydney has a free kick on the right...Mooy swings it in but too close to Coe who punches it away.
45+4 - MV 0 WSW 0
Appiah with a cross from the right...Bridge has to lean back and stretch for it...and he can't hook it back on target! It slides out for a corner.
Taken by Mooy...header by Topor-Stanley! Saved by Coe!
And cleared behind for another corner.
Broxham gets first header on the second corner.
45+2 - MV 0 WSW 0
Mooy tries his luck from 10m outside the area but it flies over the bar. No threat to Coe.
45.00 - MV 0 WSW 0
Minniecon in a one-on-one battle with Broxham down the left flank...he ducks one way, then the other...and wins a corner.
Mooy with the corner...headed back out to Mooy who wins a corner off Troisi.
Six minutes of stoppage time announced.
44.00 - MV 0 WSW 0
Western Sydney's turn to counter attack...Bridge with a pass to Santalab but the Wanderers striker left it behind! He went back for the ball but fouled Jeggo in the process.
Western Sydney attack again through Minniecon...Traore heads his high ball behind for a corner.
Coe rises high to punch Mooy's corner away.
41.00 - MV 0 WSW 0
Victory now applying some pressure...Finkler with a flick pass looking for an advancing Broxham...Broxham cuts it back from the right byline but Covic is able to claim the ball.
39.30 - MV 0 WSW 0
Victory with a counter attack...Troisi to Finkler running down the right...Finkler crosses into the area looking for Thompson but Covic dives into his path and takes the ball!
38.15 - MV 0 WSW 0
Frustration building in the stands as a string of Victory moves break down with poor passing.
Jeggo then lunges in on Mooy and gives away a foul.
Ben Williams sees fit to run over to the sidelines and talk to Kevin Muscat...his gesturing is pretty clear, Williams does the talking symbol with his hand, then points to the tunnel! Take that as a warning for the Vicotry coach that the next time Williams hears him he will be sent to the stands!
34.30 - MV 0 WSW 0
Heffernan drifts in from the right side...he's got a look at goal and unleashes a long shot with his left! It's swerving in the air but Coe is able to parry it away!
30.00 - MV 0 WSW 0
Foxtel's broadcast tells us that Andrew Nabbout has been taking to hospital as a precaution. He was knocked out by the Heffernan boot to the head and did have pins and needles down his arm.
28.00 - MV 0 WSW 0
Foul on the left...Finkler shooting territory? It's a bit further out than his strike last time...he goes for a high pass into the area which Leijer heads over the bar! Perhaps a better chance than Leijer realised!
Drinks break is called.
Finkler on, it's 40 degrees, Covic still got chills #MVCvWSW— Stefano Casaceli (@StefanoCasaceli) January 14, 2014
27.00 - MV 0 WSW 0
Troisi runs into the penalty area but the ball is bobbling under his feet and he can't pull the trigger on a shot.
25.30 - MV 0 WSW 0
Murnane sends a ball into the penalty area from the left...Beauchamp lunges at it and directs it...not quite goalwards but close enough for Covic to dive and take the ball. There were no Victory attackers in the vicinity.
23.00 - MV 0 WSW 0
The game has hit a bit of a lull. Western Sydney taking control of possession but unable to create anything threatening.
19.30 - MV 0 WSW 0
Free kick to Western Sydney on the right flank...Mooy swings it to the penalty spot...a high header from Mahazi goes towards his own goal! But Coe is able to rise highest and bat it away.
18.00 - MV 0 WSW 0
Play re-starts. The delay was about four minutes.
17.30 - MV 0 WSW 0
The call comes early for Gui Finkler as Andrew Nabbout is wheeled off AAMI Park. He lifts his left arm to give a thumbs up as he departs.
16.00 - MV 0 WSW 0
It's looking serious for Nabbout as a neck brace is applied and stretcher on wheels is taken out to the field.
14.30 - MV 0 WSW 0
Replays show Heffernan trying to volley while Nabbout was stooping to a header. He got a boot to the head and now the stretcher is out. It looks like another injury for this already depleted Victory outfit.
13.30 - MV 0 WSW 0
Minniecon wins a corner with a cutback from the left byline.
Mooy with an inswinger...over the head of Topor-Stanley and cleared by Victory.
Appiah takes the ball back into the penalty area down the right...Coecloses down the angle and from close range Appiah blasts a shot into the Victory 'keeper's body!
Another corner but this time there's a foul on Nabbout and he's staying down for treatment this time.
11.00 - MV 0 WSW 0
Nabbout with a low pass in from the left...Barbarouses takes possession and jinks past Topor-Stanley...he's on a tight angle on the left side of the penalty area and puts his shot across the face!
9.30 - MV 0 WSW 0
Troisi sends a sweeping ball from the left through the penalty area looking for Barbarouses arriving at the back post...but Barbarouses can't run the ball down! And even if he had the offside flag was up.
7.30 - MV 0 WSW 0
Jeggo's poor touch gifted possession to Appiah...but Murnane closed him down to win a throw.
4.15 - MV 0 WSW 0
First major incident of the match as Nabbout beats the back four, seemingly offisde, and clatters into Covic!
The through ball from Troisi was to Nabbout's favour and when the flag stayed down it was desperate backtracking from the Western Sydney defence. Ultimately Nabbout was caught in the middle of Heffernan and Covic, and although he was down and sore for a moment he is able to continue without the physio's attention.
3.00 - MV 0 WSW 0
Archie Thompson looks very rusty as his first touch of the night balloons off the shin and out for a goal kick.
1.00 - MV 0 WSW 0
Melbourne happy to pass it around the back four in the opening minute, which tonight is Murnane on the left, Traore and Leijer in the middle and Broxham on the right.
KICK-OFF - MV 0 WSW 0
Western Sydney kick off attacking the Yarra End. Melbourne will attack the Swan St End in the first half.
Tonight's referee is Ben Williams.
Teams are out on the ground. Melbourne is in its customary navy kit with a white V, navy shorts with white trim and navy socks with white hoops.
Western Sydney is in its away kit, white with red hoops, white shorts and white socks.
Victory and Wanderers will play their 15th game of the season tonight.
The table prior to kickoff with all teams having played 14 games:
1. Brisbane Roar 30 (+15)
2. Western Sydney 26 (+5)
3. Central Coast 21 (-2)
4. Melbourne Victory 20 (+3)
5. Perth Glory 19 (+1)
6. Newcastle Jets 19 (0)
7. Sydney FC 19 (-4)
8. Adelaide United 17 (+1)
9. Wellington Phoenix 14 (-3)
10. Melbourne Heart 5 (-16)
Warm-ups are done without any further changes required. Tonight's crowd at AAMI Park is going to be about 7,000 at kick-off.
Western Sydney has a star-studded bench, with Tomi Juric, Youssouf Hersi and Shinji Ono all set to play reduced minutes.
Tahj Minniecon was arguably Wanderers' best in the team's last trip to Melbourne, and while that good recent form hasn't resulted in further starts, he has earned a recall tonight.
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
1. COVIC Ante, 3. D'APUZZO Adam, 4. TOPOR-STANLEY Nikolai, 5. BEAUCHAMP Michael (c), 10. MOOY Aaron, 11. SANTALAB Brendon, 12. MINNIECON Tahj, 14. APPIAH Kwabena, 19. BRIDGE Mark, 22. HEFFERNAN Dean, 23. TRIFIRO Jason.
Bench: 9. JURIC Tomi, 17. HERSI Youssouf, 20. TYSON Jerrad (gk), 21. ONO Shinji, 32. ALESSI Daniel.
Teams are in. Melbourne Victory is still down to the bare bones with Mark Milligan the latest player ruled out after a minor knee surgery.
Youth team regulars Jesse Makarounas, Jordan Brown and Milos Ridesic fill the bench in hope of a rare, and in some cases first, A-League appearance.
1. COE Nathan, 3. TRAORE Adama, 6. BROXHAM Leigh (c), 9. BARBAROUSES Kosta, 10. THOMPSON Archie, 13. NABBOUT Andrew, 14. TROISI James, 16. MAHAZI Rashid, 17. JEGGO James, 23. LEIJER Adrian, 31. MURNANE Dylan.
Bench: 7. FINKLER Guilherme, 20. THOMAS Lawerence (gk), 22. MAKAROUNAS Jesse, 26. BROWN Jordan, 32. RIDESIC Milos.
Welcome to tonight's live blog of A-League Round 14, Melbourne Victory vs Western Sydney Wanderers from AAMI Park.
For all the talk about the tensions between these two fanbases, it looks like the weather has had the final say. A stifling day has left AAMI Park uncharacteristically sparse crowd for a Victory home game.