Six days is a long time in football and a small glimmer of light in a dark season for the Melbourne Victory may have finally emerged.
Victory looked re-energised under interim-boss Steve Kean, but had to survive a late scare from Western Sydney to come away with a 5-4 win.
Ben Folami was at the double while Storm Roux, Dylan Ryan and Jacob Butterfield rounded out the scorers.
A late hat-trick of goals from Graham Dorrans, Mitch Duke and Nicolai Muller almost got the Wanderers back into the game but ultimately they fell short, succumbing to their sixth straight game without a win.
The win gets Victory off the foot of the table after a dark week for the club which saw them not only lose the Derby 7-0 but saw coach Grant Brebner removed as coach.
A Robbie Kruse exchange of passes with Callum McManaman saw the Socceroo break in behind the Wanderers defence, teeing up Folami to slam home the opener.
Victory soon had an unlikely two-goal barrier as Brimmer’s corner found an unmarked Roux to nod home the second.
The two-goal lead would only last a matter of moments as Bruce Kamau found James Troisi on the edge of the area to fire one back for the Wanderers.
On the brink of halftime, Western Sydney were made to pay from a corner yet again as Ziggy Gordon’s slip allowed for Folami to wriggle free and volley in his second.
Despite Western Sydney’s best efforts to find an avenue back into the game, the resistance was quickly squashed as Melbourne put the game to bed in a crazy sixty second-patch.
Folami was brought down inside the area leading to Brimmer stepping up and having his penalty tipped around the post by Daniel Margush but Brimmer’s ensuing corner was turned home by Ryan.
Butterfield saved the best for last, firing a bullet from range to make it five before a nervous finale which saw Dorrans, Duke and Muller all fire in a 12-minute burst for the Wanderers.
KEAN AS MUSTARD
The new manager bounce was on full-show yet again.
In Steve Kean’s first game in-charge, Victory looked like a completely different team, playing with a new lease of life and renewed energy.
Kean made it clear that players were playing for their futures at the club and with Tony Popovic confirmed as the one who will be making those decisions – the bounce back was evident as they sought to impress the new manager.
Western Sydney’s finals chances are slipping away by the second as they’ve now gone six without a win.
The Wanderers looked far from a side competing for a spot in the six, looking at sea defensively especially from set pieces.
The loss places them precariously above Western United, Brisbane Roar and the Wellington Phoenix who are all nipping at the heels of Carl Robinson’s struggling outfit.
It has been a long time coming for Ben Folami who finally ended his scoring duck.
The on-loan forward has struggled for much of the season but finally found some form in-front of goals, slamming home two clever finishes in his best game for Victory as he seeks to impress his parent club Ipswich Town.