Fornaroli scores as Victory go top with Sydney ALM win

Melbourne Victory have charged to the top of the A-League Men table with Socceroos bolter Bruno Fornaroli scoring and assisting on another goal in a 3-0 win over Sydney FC.

Daniel Arzani's first goal in Victory colours delivered the lead in the 20th minute on Saturday night, with Zinedine Machach netting a second four minutes later.

Fornaroli added to his compelling case for the Socceroos' Asian Cup squad by scoring his 12th goal of the season in the 57th minute, along with his assist for Arzani's goal.

"He scores in the second half when you're under a bit of fatigue and on his weaker foot. Confidence, placement," coach Tony Popovic said.

"Just delighted for him and I want it to continue, and I'm sure he does.

"I'm sure he will work extremely hard this week to try and replicate today's performance."

Sydney had three shots on target in 20 attempts, compared to Victory's six in 12, but they couldn't find an opening, with Melbourne goalkeeper Paul Izzo brilliant throughout at AAMI Park.

"If you count the international break we've been over a month away from home," Popovic said.

"So to put on a fantastic performance and get a reward with three goals, we haven't kept a clean sheet since round one.

"The players were resolute, Paul was excellent. The second half, I thought we saw it out quite well."

In the 13th minute, Izzo pulled off an incredible diving save to stop Jake Girdwood-Reich heading Sydney in front, barely scooping the ball to safety with one hand before it crossed the line.

"Obviously they couldn't make a decision, they went with the on-field decision because there wasn't enough angles to see whether it crossed the line or not," Sydney coach Ufuk Talay said.

Victory took the lead when Fornaroli won a free kick then immediately launched a crossfield ball to Arzani on the left flank.

Arzani burst forward, danced along the edge of the 18-yard box then rifled a fizzing strike into the near bottom corner.

Four minutes later, Jake Brimmer slipped through Machach and the bustling attacker brilliantly chipped goalkeeper Adam Pavlesic.

Sydney striker Fabio Gomes had his 33rd minute goal ruled out for offside after a lengthy review, with Talay saying it was hard to see how tight the call actually was.

Victory sealed three points when Machach darted between two defenders and shimmied to his left, before flicking the ball across to Fornaroli on his right.

The in-form striker powered home a left-footed finish.

"I don't think we were at our best tonight, to be honest," Talay said.

"There were moments when we pressed, we let them out too easily at times

"There were times when we did press, we should've won the ball and it popped out and one thing that they did well was sit back and counter.

"We had a lot of possession but possession means nothing if you're not effective with it and I don't think we were tonight."

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