Acton 8.5, Baumjohann 4: Big Blue Player Ratings
Sydney FC have been fortunate to escape with a victory in the 55th Big Blue after a subpar performance against an improved Melbourne Victory.
Below are our player ratings from the 1-0 win.
Adam Redmayne - 6
Got a strong right hand to deny Brooks an equaliser just before the break, but apart from that he was largely untested throughout.
Rhyan Grant - 6
The right-back consistently got forward in the early stages and created many 2v1 scenarios with Barbarouses down the right side. He always looked to combine with a one-two with a midfielder inside, but struggled to deal with Folami's quick feet after the break as he looked to cut inside on several occasions.
Ryan McGowan - 6
Played a couple of piercing balls between the lines, but could only find Acton in the middle of the goal with a powerful header from close range in the second half.
Alex Wilkinson - 6
As usual he swept up any overhit balls in behind the defence or down the channels.
Joel King - 5
Made a few interceptions in the first half, but got caught out in transition occasionally from being too high as Brooks exploited the space he left behind.
Paulo Retre - 5
Wasn't afraid to unload from distance a couple of times but could have worked Acton more.
Luke Brattan - 6
Provided a perfect back post cross for Bobo's opener and consistently made the right decisions on the ball, and made the most of the time afforded to him in an excellent first half. He struggled to have an influence in the second half though as Victory tightened up in midfield.
Alex Baumjohann - 4
Rarely had time on the ball and was constantly harried by Broxham.
Anthony Caceres - 4
Looked a little off the pace after getting a knock early on and was largely unsighted throughout.
Kosta Barbarouses - 5
Drifted out wide to the right early on and to great effect, linking up well with Grant. Should have scored just after halftime when he was played in one-on-one, but he hit the ball straight at Acton. Not long after he saw an imaginative half volley almost dip in, but Acton got a fingertip to it.
Bobo - 6
The Brazilian nodded in the opener at the back post, an area he consistently hovered around beforehand. He dropped deeper on occasion int he first half to turn and spray the ball into wide areas. Could have had a second before halftime when he slid into a loose ball from close range, but he was eased out of the game in the second half.
Milos Ninkovic - 6
Forced Acton into a reflex stop at the near post with a stinging volley and provided Sydney with a much needed injection of quality in the final third when he came on.
Trent Buhagiar - 4
Victory closed the space in behind as the match went on, meaning his pace couldn't be used to great effect.
Luke Ivanovic - N/A
Came on too late for a rating.
Matt Acton - 8.5
Made a good smother to deny Bobo a second before halftime. The keeper was on fire in the second half, making a strong save to deny Barbarouses one-on-one just after halftime, and then again from a half volley not long afterwards. Another excellent reaction save off of McGowan from point blank range followed in an inspired performance.
Storm Roux - 5
Not really a threat going forward but Sydney didn't have much success down his side either.
Nick Ansell - 6
Kept Bobo quiet despite his early goal and probably produced one of his better displays this season.
Dylan Ryan - 7
Made a couple of good blocks in the first half and started to read the game a lot better as it went on by nullifying any balls in behind.
Leigh Broxham - 6
Struggled to deal with Sydney's combinations down the right hand side early on, and he did slow Victory down in possession by having to bring the ball inside onto his favoured right foot on the left hand side. Was much better in the second half though by being all over Baumjohann. Sometimes he won the ball from the German, but sometimes he did give away a needless foul.
Jacob Butterfield - 8
Tried to feed the pace Victory had on the counter with well weighted long balls in behind. Rarely lost possession, and was key for Victory wrestling back some control after Sydney's early onslaught. The Englishman started to make more advanced runs in the pockets in the second half, to great effect as well.
Jay Barnett - 5
Struggled to get into positions where he could face forward on the ball.
Lleyton Brooks - 7.5
Brooks was Victory's main outlet in transition early on, and he provided a lovely back post cross for Folami who should have scored before halftime. His fierce low drive almost found the bottom corner just before halftime, and he also hit the post with a header just after the break. It was a surprise to see him hooked so early given how much of a threat the youngster was throughout.
Ben Folami - 7
Should have scored with a free header to equalise before halftime and took up good narrow positions close to Gestede. Folami grew in confidence in the second half and wasn't afraid to take on Grant on the inside regularly.
Elvis Kamsoba - 4.5
As usual he lacked a lot of composure on the ball and rushed his decisions. End product has always been an issue for Kamsoba and that was no different tonight.
Rudy Gestede - 5
Sydney did well to stop any direct balls into his feet in the first half. He was on his heels a bit when crosses came into the area, but his link up play improved as the match went on.
Brandon Lauton - 5
A couple of neat touches on the ball to keep Victory ticking over going forward, but was largely ineffectual.