Interstate rivals Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United took to the pitch on Saturday night at Melbourne’s AAMI Park for a fiery contest between the two top 5 teams on the A-League ladder.
The game was off to a frustrating start with much fruitless back-and-forth across the pitch.
In the 22’ the goalless first half is broken with a contentious own goal - Leroy George of Victory sails a cross to teammate James Troisi at the back post, who heads in across the goal. Melbourne’s Besart Berisha and Adelaide’s Taylor Regan enter the scuffle and the ball deflects into the back of the net. The replay shows that Taylor Regan of has the last slight touch, awarding Victory 1-0.
A free-kick is granted to Melbourne in the 28’, and fan favourite Leroy George hits a cracking ball from 25 yards out around the wall, and whistles past Reds’ keeper Paul Izzo into the top corner of the goal. There is no controversy about this goal - the entire team rushes toward Head Coach Kevin Muscat in celebration of their 2-0 lead.
The Reds were in a chance in the 35’ when a George Blackwood misses a sure opportunity to under the posts. The striker was in perfect position but failed to reach the ball.
Half-time is called after two minutes of added time, with Victory holding the lead 2-0.
The teams return to the second half and the battle isn’t over – Frustrations build as fired up Adelaide are determined to stay in the match.
In the 54’ Dzengis Cavusevic of United clashes with Rhys Williams of Victory, and is penalised for a foul. He then proceeds to slap Williams in front of the referee and is given the red card – it’s groundhog day for The Reds as they are left with 10 men for the second consecutive game!
Melbourne are hungry for more goals – 58’ into the second-half, as Leroy George powers towards the box to find Besart Berisha who controls the ball beautifully into the back of the net. It’s now 3-0 to the home team, who have secured the match.
The Reds are left licking their wounds, unable to repeat their previous weeks’ comeback, as Victory leapfrog, taking 4th position on the A-League ladder.