Melbourne Victory defeated Adelaide United 3-0 at AAMI Park on Saturday night, in a controversial but enthralling match.
An own goal from Taylor Regan, plus contributions from Leroy George and Besart Berisha sealed an important home triumph for Kevin Muscat’s side.
The opening stages were rather sloppy from both sides – there was misplaced passes and both teams did not seem to be on same page going forward. Beyond the 20 minute mark though, they started to look a lot more comfortable in possession.
A foul in the build up to opening goal?
In the build-up to the opening goal of the match, Rhys Williams made a challenge from behind on George Blackwood. The central-defender won the ball, but he cleaned up his opponent in the process.
Seconds later, George sent a long range ball into the box, subsequently leading to a Victory goal after 22 minutes.
Another contentious decision throughout the match came just a few minutes into proceedings, as Ryan Kitto appeared to be fouled on the edge of the box by Thomas Deng with a challenge from behind without making contact with the ball.
George to the rescue
The Dutchman was exceptional yet again for the Victory and was directly involved in all of the team’s goals.
Just after the 20 minute mark, George received the ball just inside the attacking half and delivered a pinpoint cross to pick out James Troisi, who then headed the ball towards goal. Regan could not clear the danger and went into the net, along with the ball.
George doubled the Victory’s advantage just minutes later after a well struck free kick from roughly 25-yards out.
He was at it again near the hour mark after assisting Berisha for the match sealing goal, racking up his 14th assist for the season.
Cavusevic red card destroyed Adelaide’s chances
When Dzengis Cavusevic fouled Williams there was some afters between the pair, and the Slovenian gave the Victory centre-back a slap to the face.
The diving reaction from Williams was over-exaggerated, but nonetheless the actions of Cavusevic warranted a red card.
It was disappointing from the forward, who let his teammates and coach down by simply lacking discipline – it was pure silliness.
Before the red card, Marco Kurz’ men were dominating the early stages of the second half and actually placing pressure on the Victory.
The dismissal derailed Adelaide’s confidence during such an important match in context of table standings. Melbourne have now leapfrogged the Reds into fourth position – level on 29 points with a better goal difference.
A win for the visitors would have put them within a point of third placed Melbourne City.