MELBOURNE Victory ran out emphatic 3-0 victor over last year's A-League runners-up Western Sydney Wanderers at a packed Kingston Twin Ovals yesterday.
In front of more than 5000 it took just 17 seconds for Victory to open the scoring. Archie Thompson made the goal with a brilliant run down the middle, before splitting a pass to Connor Pain who got a shot off, it spilled out to Nichols who finessed it in from outside the box.
Victory dominated the contest and it was the midfield where it had the upper hand with the presence of Socceroo and Melbourne Victory captain Mark Milligan. Pain assisted Kosta Barbarouses for Melbourne's second, knocking a delightful ball through to Barbarouses to finish.
In the second half the Wanderers made a fight of it but an own goal from former Victory gloveman Ante Covic made it very difficult, shanking a back pass into his own net.
Superstar Japanese midfielder Shinji Ono departed early with some injury concerns as Victory finished with a big win at its home away from home just two weeks out from the A-League season.
Earlier in the day Melbourne Victory's youth side dominated Tasmania, winning 6-1 with Northern Rangers striker Shane Brassington claiming Tasmania's only goal.
Melbourne Victory 3 d Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Goals - VICTORY: M. Nichols 1, K. Barbarouses 27, own goal A. Covic 76. (ht 2-0).
Melbourne Victory 6 d Tasmania 1
Goals - VICTORY: G. Finkler 8, 28, 39, A. Proia 36, R. Mahazi 60, A. Duzel 90. TASMANIA: S. Brassington 11. (ht 1-4).