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Melbourne cruise into the Grand Final

Melbourne Victory have cruised into the A-League Grand Final with a 4-0 demolition of Adelaide United. Melbourne Victory: 4 d. Adelaide United: 0 Goals: Thompson 11, Hernandez 24, Allsopp 44, Pondeljak 48.

The Reds started sluggishly with heavy passes and flat legs and it only got worse in the 11th minute when Costa Rican international Carlos Hernandez received the ball in central midfield and played and a lovely through ball to Archie Thompson.

Thompson was adjudged to be onside and his predatory skills did not let the Victory fans down as he slotted past Eugene Galekovic to take the overall score to 3-0.

The Victory set about dominating the match and the Reds struggled to keep up with the slick passing and brilliant positioning of Ernie Merrick's men.

A series of passes found Hernandez on his own in the area after 24 minutes and with time and control, he smashed it home to give the Victory a two-goal lead on the night and a 4-0 buffer in the two-legged semi-final.

Danny Allsopp then got amongst the action thanks to another superb through ball from Hernandez in the 44th minute and finished coolly for a third goal to the home side.

A 5-0 overall lead at half-time was the outcome from an insipid display by Aurelio Vidmar's men in the first half.

Just three minutes after the restart, Thompson won the ball in midfield which was collected by Tom Pondeljak who played it wide to the man of the moment Hernandez.

He was able to take the ball with him to just outside the area and loft it to the back post where Pondeljak was waiting to volley into the back of the net, making it 4-0 (6-0 on aggregate).

For the next half hour it was a case of both sides trying to score as many times as possible but mainly wayward shots came about as forward forays were in abundance.

The Reds made changes in a bid to stem the flow but it was all to no avail as the Victory marched into the A-League Grand Final.

Adelaide will need to find something next week if they are to overcome the rampant Queensland Roar whilst the Victory will enjoy a week off and sitting back to see who they will face in the decider for 2008/09.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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