2018-19 Australian A League, Regular Season
  • Alexander Baumjohann (74' PEN)
  • Ola Toivonen (45', 86')

Ola Toivonen double gives Melbourne Victory win at Western Sydney Wanderers

An 86th-minute goal from Ola Toivonen handed Melbourne Victory a 2-1 win over Western Sydney to extend their unbeaten run to a ninth game.

An improved Wanderers outfit appeared to have earned a share of the points on Saturday when German star Alex Baumjohann's second-half penalty cancelled out Toivonen's opener.

But the Victory's Swedish import broke the hearts of a Western Sydney fanbase - which included the returning Red and Black Block - when a James Troisi cross ricocheted off his chest and into the net.

The win lifts Victory, who were without marquee man Keisuke Honda, to top spot on the A-League ladder alongside Sydney FC and Perth, who visit Brisbane on Sunday.

For the struggling Wanderers, it leaves them seven points adrift of the top six in eighth spot. It also leaves them with just one win in their past 16 matches against Melbourne Victory.

The brace for Toivonen meant the Swede had scored in five consecutive matches -- the first time the feat was achieved in club history.

Wanderers coach Markus Babbel wanted a response from the side that were soundly beaten by Melbourne City last week and, initially, that's what he got at ANZ Stadium.

The home side showed plenty of vigour early forcing three strong saves from Victory gloveman Lawrence Thomas. Babbel's men went on to dominate most of the half, but simply couldn't convert possession into goals.

That profligacy was punished when Toivonen scored against the run of play on the stroke of half-time to hand the visitors the lead at the break.

The former PSV Eindhoven frontman made the most of one of his team's rare attacking forays when he slotted home a perfectly-weighted Troisi through ball.

The Wanderers finally equalised midway through the second half when Baumjohann was fouled in the box by Storm Roux and got up to score the resulting penalty.

Substitute Nick Fitzgerald almost gave the Wanderers the lead with a glancing header after Thomas failed to deal with a cross, but veteran defender Leigh Broxham was on hand to head off the line.

Victory went on to claim the win when Troisi's cross wasn't dealt with by the Wanderers defence and Toivonen was in the right place at the right time.

Muscat hailed his team for responding well after conceding an equaliser.

"You have a look and see what sort of reaction there's going to be from the team and I thought our reaction was spot on," he said. "Ola gets his second goal, earned the right to go ahead in the game and in the end, and held on. I think the positive reaction we had from the team when we conceded an equaliser was great."

Babbel was buoyed by their improvement was again rued their attacking struggles, having had triple the amount of shots on goal.

"I feel really sad for the boys because the performance was top," 'he said. "[I'm] very proud of our team. Played a really good side, dominate them, created many chances, but this is the biggest problem we have."

Australian A-League Standings