Adelaide United suffered its maiden loss of the Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 season, falling 2-1 to Melbourne Victory in the Original Rivalry at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night.
Jacob Tratt’s second-half equaliser proved inconsequential as the Reds endured its first home defeat against Victory since January 2017.
What went right. What went wrong.
What went right: Delianov continues to impress
Despite the result, James Delianov kept the Reds in the contest. He made a splendid save to deny Marco Rojas five minutes before half-time, racing off his line to close the angle. The 22-year-old could do little about both goals although probably wished his stunning parry to thwart Jake Brimmer went out for a corner instead of staying in play which allowed Marco Rojas to loop a back post cross for Francesco Margiotta to score. With each game he is certainly growing and building confidence.
What went wrong: Stop start nature disrupted rhythm
The Original Rivalry is always synonymous with being a tempestuous affair and tonight was no exception. Adelaide controlled the opening 20 minutes of the clash, dominating possession without forcing Ivan Kelava into a notable save. However, as the first-half wore on, the somewhat placid start to the clash was a distant memory with several flashpoints causing a few melees. A total of five yellow cards were brandished between the 27th and 39th minute with the stop, start nature disrupting the Reds’ fluidity and pressure that they began to establish in attack. Carl Veart in the post-match press conference acknowledged his side simply were not good enough and failed to create enough consistent chances to warrant taking something from the game.
What went wrong: Winless after four games
While it is still early in the season, it is not the start Veart and the team would have wanted after four matches. A difficult schedule with away trips to Perth and Brisbane as well as home matches against the defending champions and biggest rivals, is certainly tough. But three points to show for their efforts is frustrating. Adelaide will be determined to snap its winless streak and get its campaign back on track with a triumph against Western United next weekend.
What went right: More minutes for Goodwin and Juande, Bernardo impactful
As Craig Goodwin and Juande gain more fitness it will only further enhance the squad’s depth and competition for places. The pair received their first starts of the season, playing the full 90 minutes and will continue to get better. Goodwin was more involved, particularly in the second stanza and delivered some inviting crosses into the area, while Juande made some timely interventions operating as an auxiliary centre-back. Meanwhile, young forward Bernardo in his home debut, provided a spark off the bench. The 17-year-old was lively and caused a number of problems down Victory’s left side which also resulted in Jason Davidson being brandished a second yellow card for late tackle.
Saturday, 11 December
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 – Matchweek 04
Adelaide United 1 (Tratt 70’)
Melbourne Victory 2 (Margiotta 59’, Velupillay 78’)
Venue: Coopers Stadium