As 2021 nears its conclusion, it’s time to look back on the year that has been and celebrate the best moments of what has been a challenging year across the globe.
Western United has enjoyed some spectacular moments on the pitch throughout the year producing some memorable matches for the 2021 yearbook.
Sit back, relax and enjoy a recap of the Green and Black’s top five matches this year, with goals, late drama and brilliant wins.
5. Western United 4-1 Macarthur FC – February 20, Mars Stadium
After an interrupted start to the 2020/21 campaign, Western United hosted Macarthur FC in at Mars Stadium looking for a second win of the season.
Iker Guarrotxena got the ball rolling with a brilliant solo effort from long-range before playing a defence-splitting pass that allowed Alessandro Diamanti to tee up Besart Berisha for the second.
Diamanti got a second assist just after half-time with an outstanding ball to provide Dylan Pierias a goal on his birthday, before Guarrotxena got involved again.
After some fancy footwork, the Spaniard looped a shot onto the post that was turned home by Berisha, a goal that took him to second all-time for goals scored in Australian domestic football.
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4. Western United 1-0 Adelaide United – December 17, AAMI Park
Victory over Adelaide United just a matter of weeks ago secured a new record for the Club and continued a brilliant start to the new season for John Aloisi’s side.
Western United had previously been on two separate three-match winning streaks but had failed to make it to four on both occasions, until Connor Pain stepped up at AAMI Park.
Less than a week after scoring an outstanding volley to beat Brisbane Roar, Pain was at it again as he cut onto his weaker right foot and buried a shot into the bottom corner.
United’s defensive resilience ensured the score line would remain unchanged for the rest of the match, marking a fourth consecutive win for the first time ever.
3. Western United 5-4 Perth Glory – January 23, GMHBA Stadium
Western United and Perth Glory played out an absolute thriller at GMHBA Stadium at the beginning of last season, and arguably the most exciting match of the year.
Victor Sanchez’s first goal for the Club had United 1-0 up early on, but few could have predicted what would ensue in the second half of the match.
A further eight goals in just over half an hour of football created an instant classic, with Perth quickly taking a 2-1 lead in the second half before falling behind 3-2 just as quickly as Dylan Pierias struck twice in four minutes just after coming off the bench.
After being pegged back again, Tomoki Imai scored his maiden United goal before yet another Perth equaliser, but the Green and Black had the last laugh in a crazy game with Steven Lustica netting an 84th minute winner.
2. Western United 2-1 Melbourne City – April 1, AAMI Park
One of the best overall performances that Western United has played to date, let alone in 2021, came in a brilliant 2-1 win over Melbourne City in April.
Craig Noone gave City an early lead at AAMI Park, but the Green and Black stayed in the game and hit back with a double salvo just after the hour mark.
Lachie Wales bagged his first United goal against his former team as he climbed highest to head home from close range before turning provider for an outstanding left-footed Berisha finish.
That was the first time United defeated City, until Aloisi’s men managed to repeat that feat in December.
United has four huge matches at AAMI Park in 2022, including two big clashes against Melbourne City. The best way to watch the action is as a Western United member. Join with a 3-game membership today.
1. Melbourne Victory 3-4 Western United – February 27, Marvel Stadium
Among the brilliant action on the pitch this year, there could only be one that comes out on top for Western United.
United claimed a seven-goal thriller against Melbourne Victory, a game in which all seven goals were fantastic across the board and where late drama decided the outcome.
Callum McManaman had given Victory the lead before Sanchez struck before half-time and Berisha twice after the break to give United some breathing room before Tomislav Uskok was sent off.
A belter from Jacob Butterfield and a Rudy Gestede header brought Victory back level before Sanchez pounced on a loose ball in the box to thump the ball into an empty net, causing delirious scenes from the United bench and one of the Club’s most famous wins so far.