Western United 1-6 Melbourne Victory: Kamsoba doubles up in resounding win

By Sports Desk May 28, 2021

Melbourne Victory claimed just their fifth win of the A-League season in stunning fashion on Friday, thrashing Western United 6-1 at AAMI Park.

Elvis Kamsoba scored twice as the visitors recorded a first triumph against their opponents at the sixth attempt, having drawn 0-0 in the previous meeting.

However, United came into the fixture having lost five on the spin, including failing to score in the past four outings.

They did manage a goal this time, albeit a penalty from captain Alessandro Diamanti in first-half stoppage time was the only highlight in a fixture played without a crowd due to seven-day lockdown in Victoria.

Jake Brimmer opened the scoring in the 12th minute, with Rudy Gestede doubling the lead. After setting up Kambosa to score, Ben Folami was also on target as Melbourne went in at the break 4-1 up.

Kambosa added another five minutes into the second half, the away team seizing on a loose pass as the scorer exchanged passes with Callum McManaman before firing beyond goalkeeper Ryan Scott.

Jacob Butterfield completed the rout in the 82nd minute, the midfielder's left-footed drive finding the net to cap a resounding result for Melbourne’s stand-in boss Steve Kean.

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    The drivers' and constructors' championships both heating up as Formula One makes its seasonal return to Europe seems fitting. 

    After legs in the Middle East, Australia and North America, Red Bull are comprehensively in the fight against Ferrari heading into this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona.

    With consecutive race wins at the Emilia Romagna GP and Miami GP following DNFs in Bahrain and Australia, Max Verstappen has closed the gap to standings leader Charles Leclerc to 19 points.

    After coming perilously close to such an error at Imola, a single mistake or DNF for Leclerc and a full points haul for Verstappen could see momentum in the drivers' championship completely shift.

    Barcelona is a happy hunting ground for Verstappen, who claimed victory there in 2016 in only his first drive for Red Bull.

    It could continue if the reigning world champion secures pole position, having converted 14 career poles into 10 race victories, the best rate of any driver in F1 history.

    Meanwhile, with Sergio Perez also contributing with solid driving and good race pace on Sunday, Red Bull have cut the gap in the constructors' standings to only six points.

    Only in Monaco have the team collected more points than in Spain, with 332 compared to 312, but that could change this weekend.

    With a fifth consecutive top-four finish, Perez could equal his best such run of results, recorded between Turkey and Qatar last season.

    Ferrari set for upgrades

    The gravity of Red Bull's resurgence could arguably be crystallised in the likelihood Ferrari will have upgrades installed for this weekend after only tinkering and researching on race weekends to this point.

    Leclerc will be looking to lead from the front, with all four of his race wins in F1 coming from pole position.

    Carlos Sainz will also be hoping for a strong finish at his home grand prix, where he has accumulated the most points (40) in his career alongside Monaco.

    Can Mercedes challenge?

    While they might not be a championship contender in either the drivers' or constructors' standings, Mercedes have at least shown improved performance to potentially challenge for podiums and race wins.

    The Silver Arrows come into this contest having taken the past nine pole positions in Barcelona, and they will likely need to make it another to challenge on Sunday.

    Lewis Hamilton is still waiting to surpass Michael Schumacher for the most consecutive seasons with a race win.

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    Drivers

    1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 104
    2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 85
    3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) 66
    4. George Russell (Mercedes) 59 
    5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 53

    Constructors

    1. Ferrari 157
    2. Red Bull 151
    3. Mercedes 95
    4. McLaren 46
    5. Alfa Romeo 31

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    "Obviously I respect how he's been playing, he's a top player," Tavernier said. "But, I've just got to bring the best version of myself when the game starts and try to cause him all the problems, try to make him deal with me for the majority of the game. That's all I can really do."

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    The 30-year-old is on a base annual salary of $7.35million, with guaranteed compensation of $8.15million.

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