Football 2 years ago

Victory hold off tough-tackling Reds

  • Victory hold off tough-tackling Reds

Melbourne have fought their way to the top of the A-League table, winning a spiteful clash with Adelaide 2-1.

Besart Berisha's penalty and a free kick to Oliver Bozanic put Victory ahead, before United substitute Marcelo Carrusca scored a late consolation from the spot.

The match will be remembered for other reasons, with 10 yellow cards issued and Victory's active fans staging a mid-match walk-out.

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The North Terrace stayed just long enough to see Victory take a 2-0 lead before departing after half an hour to protest Football Federation Australia's treatment of banned fans.

Those left inside Etihad Stadium saw the league's 'original rivals' duel with plenty of feeling but little polish.

The Reds' run worsens to nine matches without success, equalling a club record.

By contrast it's now four straight wins for Kevin Muscat's side, who sit on top of the league ladder despite having played one game fewer than the field.

Berisha's opener came from the penalty spot after fine work from full-back Jason Geria.

The 22-year-old flitted inside Adelaide's box before Jordan Elsey brought his run to a halt.

It was a simple decision for referee Jarred Gillett to award the penalty, which Berisha neatly dispatched past Eugene Galekovic.

Victory's second on 30 minutes also came from a dead ball.

Oliver Bozanic waved away regular set-piece taker Gui Finkler and struck a curling free kick which Galekovic could only palm into his own net.

Victory were left bruised by Adelaide's approach, with Guillermo Amor's side receiving seven cautions.

Few of the yellow cards came from malicious tackles.

Most were simply made as United struggled to deal with Victory's trademark swift attacking play, though Elsey left an nasty impression on Berisha.

In just his second A-League start Elsey slid in late on the Albanian's foot, leaving him in a heap and requiring treatment.

Berisha battled on, missing the best open-play chance of the night when he rounded the keeper but couldn't find his feet to score.

With Matthieu Delpierre substituted at half-time, Adelaide battled on and ended with as many shots as the reigning champions.

Kosta Barbarouses' careless tackle on Craig Goodwin allowed Carrusca to score his penalty but the Reds' run came too late to find an equaliser.

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