A top of the table defining night of A-League action saw Adelaide United get back to winning ways with a first-half blitz being enough to dispatch their long time rivals and Perth Glory putting title contenders, Sydney FC to the sword with an impressive 3-1 win at home.
Adelaide United 2-0 Melbourne Victory
In what was described as Adelaide’s best first-half of football under Marco Kurz, The Reds were able to end the Melbourne Victory’s nine game unbeaten run with an impressive two goal win at Coopers Stadium.
Craig Goodwin and Ken Ilso both got on the scoresheet in the space of three minutes as Adelaide put the Victory to the sword by being able to expose their defensive fragilities in the wake of key injuries at the back for Kevin Muscat’s men.
Adelaide made two changes heading into this game with Nikola Mileusnic and Nathan Konstandopoulos both coming in to the starting line-up for Ryan Kitto and the suspended Vince Lia.
Kevin Muscat made the one change as Josh Hope was relegated to the bench and was replaced by debutant, Elvis Kamsoba who made his first appearance for the Vuck from the start since moving from Avondale FC.
It was all Adelaide from the onset as Mileusnic was creating havoc on the right-hand side and his fantastic cross was met by Goodwin, who opened the scoring as he slid in to tap home inside the opening twenty minutes.
Moments later, Thomas Deng was caught napping in defence and was dispossessed by Ilso who was able to stride in and slam home Adelaide’s second within the space of three minutes.
The Victory looked to surge back into the game when Ola Toivonen tested Paul Izzo from range with his free-kick stinging the palm of the Adelaide goal-keeper before Goodwin could have had a second with his shot just missing the target on the stroke of half-time.
Kevin Muscat’s men came out of the blocks the stronger side as Kosta Barbarouses pounced on an error from former team-mate, Scott Galloway but failed to beat Izzo in what seemed like a straight forward one-on-one.
Terry Antonis was also able to test Izzo from range as his shot rattled the crossbar but it wasn’t to be for Melbourne whose nine-game unbeaten run came to a screeching halt while Adelaide kept themselves in touch with the top echelon of the table.
The win for Adelaide puts them in fifth on goal-difference ahead of the Wellington Phoenix and are now four points behind the Victory who still sit second for the time being.
For the Victory they now have to focus on their clash against the Newcastle Jets at AAMI Park on Saturday night while for Adelaide United, they will travel to take on Sydney FC at Jubilee Oval on Sunday evening in an FFA Cup Final rematch.
Perth Glory 3-1 Sydney FC
Perth Glory continued their impressive form as of late with a first-half blitz of their own with a 3-1 win over Sydney FC at HBF Park.
Former Sydney FC duo, Joel Chianese and Brendon Santalab were on hand to sink the visitors with the former scoring a double inside the opening twenty-five minutes before Adam Le Fondre was able to pull one back for the visitors with his eleventh goal of the season.
Perth made six changes after their come from behind win over Brisbane with Matthew Spiranovic, Tomislav Mrcela, Ivan Franjic, Juande, Diego Castro and Santalab all replacing Dino Djulbic, Alex Grant, Scott Neville, Jake Brimmer, Fabio Ferriera and Andy Keogh in the starting XI.
While Sydney FC went in unchanged for this game with Paulo Retre once again slotting in at right-back for the absent Rhyan Grant who is away on international duty for the Socceroos.
The Glory were off to a brilliant start when Jason Davidson linked up brilliantly with Castro to put in a beautiful cross to Chianese to slam home the opener inside the opening fifteen minutes
He didn’t have to wait long for his brace as moments later he got on the end of a Neil Kilkenny through-ball to double their lead and put the pressure on the visitors.
Sydney, who had defeated Perth on the road only weeks prior looked completely shell-shocked as two former employees of the club, Chianese and Santalab linked up for the latter to score his first goal for the Perth as they opened up a three goal lead at half-time.
However, Sydney were able to fight back when Juande gave the ball away in midfield which led to Le Fondre pulling Sydney back in the game and continue his fantastic debut season at the club.
Steve Corica’s men continued to push as Michael Zullo tried his luck from range but his volley was well saved by Liam Reddy as the Glory hung onto an impressive win over their fellow title contenders.
Perth now have a six point gap on Sydney and Melbourne Victory at the top of the table and next take on the Western Sydney Wanderers at home on Sunday night.
For Sydney, they will be back at home when they take on Adelaide on Sunday evening as they look to get back to winning ways.