The Victory conceded a first minute goal to the undefeated ladder leaders before rallying for a 2-1 win thanks to a first-half beauty from man of the match Robbie Kruse and a second-half finish from Carlos Hernandez.
Adelaide had not beaten or drawn with their arch enemies in their past nine attempts and after a solid start it looked like they would finally break that trend but as always, the Victory made a nuisance of themselves against the Reds and managed to complete a great comeback to get their season back on track after a loss last weekend.
GOAL The league leaders got off to an absolute flier in the opening minute when Paul Reid’s free-kick was met with a powerful Iain Fyfe header which gave Victory keeper Michael Petkovic no chance at all. After nine games without a win against Melbourne, Adelaide had put themselves in a fantastic position to break the streak.
It was a very crisp beginning to the match with both sides playing a very open style as Victory striker Robbie Kruse was starting to be a handful for the Reds defence as the home side chased an equaliser.
GOAL The 22nd minute saw the Victory claw their way back into proceedings when that man Kruse tried his luck from way outside the area and his dipping shot got past Eugene Galekovic, making it 1-1 much to the delight of the Victory fans. It was Kruse’s fourth goal in four games, making him the only ever Victory player to do so.
Reds young gun Mathew Leckie, who was in doubt with a knee problem, was chopped down by Surat Sukha about five minutes before the second goal and he had to be subbed off as coach Rini Coolen opted for Fabian Barbiero as his replacement.
The match continued to provide plenty for both sides with its end to end nature but there was no addition to the score as an exciting second half became a likely proposition.
The opening of the second term was not quite as bright as the start of the match as both teams were feeling each other out in a match which was delicately poised to go either way.
Kruse was still causing plenty of problems for the Reds defenders and he was heavily involved in Melbourne’s second goal in the 68th minute when he played in veteran midfielder Tom Pondeljak after receiving the ball from Carlos Hernandez who had started the move. GOAL Pondeljak was able to take it into the area before cutting back for Hernandez who finished with ease with his left foot.
The Etihad Stadium crowd really got into gear after the goal that put the Victory ahead and it rubbed off on the home side who were playing with much greater confidence than the undefeated Reds.
A third goal beckoned for the Victory but it failed to eventuate despite some late chances, particularly Pondeljak’s 86th minute shot which hit the upright, as Ernie Merrick’s men inflicted the first defeat of the season on Adelaide, allowing them to move to third on the table ahead of Gold Coast United and Central Coast Mariners on points.
Michael Petkovic (gk), Kevin Muscat, Surat Sukha (Broxham 69’), Grant Brebner, Ricardinho (Dugandzic 46’), Roddy Vargas, Billy Celeski, Tom Pondeljak, Carlos Hernandez, Robbie Kruse (Angulo 84’), Adrain Leijer
Subs - Sebastian Mattei (gk), Mate Dugandzic (46’), Leigh Broxham (69’), Marvin Angulo (84’)
Subs - Mark Birighitti (gk), Inseob Shin (79’), Iain Ramsay (55’), Fabian Barbiero (22’, Ramsay 55’)