Premier League team dismantled in Melbourne

Premier League team dismantled in Melbourne

The A-League All Stars Men dominated English Premier League side Newcastle United in an 8-0 victory at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.

Newcastle head coach Eddie Howe named an inexperienced lineup in Melbourne and the All Stars took full advantage as Ben Old, Nicolas Milanovic and Adam Taggart found the back of the net before the break.

Apostolos Stamatelopoulos made it 4-0 in the 62nd minute and then doubled his tally 12 minutes later, thanks to an assist from fellow substitute Nestory Irankunda for a simple tap-in.

The night went from bad to worse for Newcastle when Jake Hollman came off the bench to add his name to the scoresheet and increase the All Stars’ lead to six with less than 10 minutes left, a lead that was extended to eight when Jordan Courtney -Perkins and Bozhidar Kraev added to Newcastle’s pain.

Friday night’s victory was the first in A-Leagues All Stars match history; Manchester United, Juventus and Barcelona surpassed previous versions of the All Stars over the years, but the class of 2024 shined at Marvel Stadium to break the streak.

Isuzu UTE A-League legend Andrew Durante was on commentary for Network 10 and, before full-time, praised Patrick Kisnorbo and his All Stars for rising to the occasion and producing an emphatic display against the team of the Premier League.

“I think the A-Leagues deserve a lot more credit, not only for the players but also for the coaches,” Durante said.

“I think the manager’s level is improving all the time, you’ve seen Paddy Kisnorbo tonight, how hungry he is, how much he wants to win. He is a winner. He has put together a team designed to win.

“I think the way he trained them during the week was super intense and he got the result he wanted. She said that we are facing a great team from the English Premier League and that we are going to play, put pressure on them and be aggressive.

“I didn’t know which team was going to be there tonight until they got to the ground, so the mentality was the same regardless of who ended up taking the field for Newcastle United.

“I think a lot of the credit goes to Paddy Kisnorbo and the mentality he had going into this game.”

The All Stars opened the scoring in the fifth minute when Wellington Phoenix star Ben Old pounced on a loose ball in the box and beat Mark Gillespie.

Mathew Leckie created the opportunity for Old to score. The Melbourne City winger prepared to shoot in the area, but several Newcastle defenders converged to close the space. The ball slipped through the tangle of bodies and fell to Old, who was alone and finished with conviction.

Jay O’Shea almost made it 2-0 before the quarter-hour mark with a shot from the edge of the area, but Gillespie lay down and tipped the ball around the post.

The All Stars dominated the early stages at Marvel Stadium and Western Sydney striker Micolas Milanovic came within inches of doubling the lead when he pounced on an errant Gillespie clearance and charged towards goal.

Milanovic’s shot hit the target, but Gillespie scored with his fingertips; the ball hit one post and then the other and, unfortunately for the young Wanderers player, he did not cross the goal line.

Socceroo Garang Kuol made his first start for Newcastle on Friday night and, after a quiet start, fired his first shot on goal, which was comfortably saved by Alex Paulsen.

Garang Kuol in action with Newcastle.

Shortly after the score was 2-0 for the All Stars. A calamitous deflection from defender Dylan Charlton opened the door for Milanovic, who jumped inside the six-yard box and squeezed the ball under Gillespie to double the lead.

The All Stars’ dominant first-half display continued at Marvel Stadium when Perth Glory talisman Adam Taggart made it 3-0 in the 34th minute. Fresh from claiming the Isuzu UTE A- Golden Boot League, Taggart scored with a clinical finish into the bottom left corner after the All Stars lost possession high up the pitch.

The All Stars regained the lead early in the second half and had the ball in the back of the net for the fourth time before the offside flag came to Newcastle’s rescue.

Gillespie ran off his line to receive a through ball played behind the defensive line, but Leckie stepped forward and turned the ball into an unprotected net, before the offside flag saved Gillespie’s blushes.

But just after the hour mark, the All Stars found their fourth goal, when substitute Stamatelopoulos made it 4-0 with a curling shot from outside the box.

Irankunda came off the bench shortly after All Stars’ fourth goal of the night and it didn’t take long for the Bayern Munich-bound teenager to make an impact. Irankunda brought down the right wing to set up Stamatelopoulos for his second of the night as the All Stars took a 5-0 lead.

Irankunda was heavily involved in the All Stars’ sixth goal of the night. The teenager ran down the right wing once again and cut the ball towards Wellington Phoenix midfielder Bozhidar Kraev, who gave Jake Hollman a 6-0 lead for the home team.

Newcastle suffered further pain when Jordan Courtney-Perkins and Kraev scored as the All Stars cruised to an 8-0 victory at Marvel Stadium.

Until next time? The grand final of the Isuzu UTE A-League!

As Friday night’s A-Leagues All Stars action concludes, attention will turn to Saturday night’s Isuzu UTE A-League Grand Final between Central Coast Mariners and Melbourne Victory at Industre Group Stadium.

The Premiership winners the Mariners are in the hunt for a treble of trophies, having already clinched the AFC Cup title and the Premiers Plate. But Victory are looking to spoil the party in Gosford, as head coach Tony Popovic looks to secure the first championship title of his coaching career.


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