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Melbourne Victory jump back on top of the A-League

Melbourne Victory has regained top spot on the A-League table with a 1-0 win over Adelaide United. A Nicky Ward header was the difference between the two teams in what was a catch up match from when the Reds were involved in the Asian Champions League, giving the Victory their third win on the trot.

In front of 27,916 (the second highest attendance at the Telstra Dome this season), the Victory began convincingly by pushing forward early with plenty of attack in the first 10 mins.

Adelaide had no forward movement early and the best chance of the half came to match-winner Nicky Ward when Reds midfielder Kristian Sarkies gave it away in the centre of the pitch and Tom Pondeljak swooped and lay it off for Ward who shot from an angle but could not beat goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.

The match died down in the mid-stages of the first half until Victory defender Matthew Kemp made a mistake and Reds skipper Travis Dodd swung it in before a scramble ensued and the Victory finally cleared.

The second half was a much more even period but when a Carlos Hernandez free kick was parried away by Galekovic, it showed the intent of the home side.

Just three minutes later, Billy Celeski took a corner that was met by an unattended Ward who powered home a header to give the Victory the ascendency.

Moments later it looked as though the Reds would equalise when Daniel Mullen shook off Archie Thompson and played in Scott Jamieson who put it on a platter for Cristiano but Victory goalkeeper Michael Theoklitos made a terrific save.

After that point Adelaide were searching desperately for an equaliser by using plenty of possession and thrusting forward on a number of occasions but it was to no avail as the Victory earned maximum points and jumped back on top of the league table.

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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