Melbourne Victory win 2015 grand final, defeating Sydney FC 3-0

Melbourne Victory celebrate after winning the A-League grand final against Sydney FC on Sunday. Picture: Getty Images
Melbourne Victory celebrate after winning the A-League grand final against Sydney FC on Sunday. Picture: Getty Images

MELBOURNE Victory are A-League champions again after a 3-0 grand final destruction of Sydney FC.

Kevin Muscat's side ended the club's six-year wait for A-League glory in stunning fashion.

A scintillating first-half Besart Berisha half-volley was followed by late goals to Kosta Barbarouses and Leigh Broxham in the final 10 minutes to give Victory a richly earned title.

Victory showed the intensity of a champion team and, led by inspirational captain Mark Milligan, dominated throughout against a below-par Sydney side.

A raucous crowd of 29,843 kept their spirits high, creating the intense atmosphere Muscat had predicted.

Muscat, who celebrated wildly after Broxham's third goal, becomes the first man to captain and coach a team to an A-League championship, remarkably in his first full season at the helm.

He praised his players for a champion effort.

"They dominated the game and suffocated them when they had the ball and forced them into so many errors," he said.

"I asked them to go one better tonight . . . it was fitting we got reward for our season."

After the premiership and championship, Muscat said he was not done winning trophies with this group.

"I'm going to try and enjoy tonight and we will find some ways to improve, without doubt," he said.

"We won't stand still."

Berisha's opener came on 34 minutes but looked likely from the first.

The marquee man cushioned Barbarouses' firm cross to Gui Finkler then expertly controlled the rebound and lashed past Vedran Janjetovic.

After goals in two grand final wins with Brisbane Roar, the Albanian proved his worth yet again on the big stage.

Sydney captain Alex Brosque had his side's first shot of the match in first-half injury time.

Substitute Shane Smeltz gave Sydney a new route to goal after coming on in the second half, but golden boot winner Marc Janko had Sydney's best chance.

With 15 minutes remaining, the Austrian marquee's free header was well saved by Lawrence Thomas.

At the other end, Victory's Kiwi livewire Barbarouses poked home a loose ball in the box to make the game safe with seven minutes remaining.

On 87 minutes, Carl Valeri was needlessly sent off after a second yellow card for kicking the ball away, but there was still time for more celebration.

The stoppage-time introduction of Archie Thompson brought the Victory crowd to life once more before he was upstaged by Broxham.

The Victory utility latched onto Fahid Ben Khalfallah's through-ball to claim a third goal and send the crowd into raptures.

Beaten coach Graham Arnold said referee Jarred Gillett "killed the game" in blowing for 40 fouls but was otherwise gracious in defeat.

"You've got to be honest, and tonight Melbourne Victory were the better team," Arnold said. "Melbourne Victory did a great job shutting down our midfield."