Melbourne Victory has gone down in a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Adelaide United, who finally broke a 10-game losing streak against their biggest rivals.
Pre-match, much of the talk was of whether Adelaide could break the famous hoodoo that dates back to 2007. In the end they did, and in style. Man of the match Sergio van Dijk was clinical, scoring two goals and troubling the Victory defence on numerous occasions. Melbourne's cause was not helped when captain Kevin Muscat was sent off in the 65th minute, although at this stage the match was all but over. As usual when these sides meet, it was a spiteful affair, with no less than eight yellow cards shown.
The Reds opened the scoring in the 12th minute and never looked back, not only dominating play but preventing any serious chances for the Victory. After going down two-nil (courtesy of an brilliant 30 metre strike from van Dijk) and reduced to 10 men, Melbourne began to finally look lively as good chances fell to Danny Allsopp and Ricardinho, yet they weren't taken. Adelaide then kept their foot on the pedal and extended the margin to four as they made Melbourne look second rate.
Melbourne began to let their frustration get the better of them, and things began to boil over as Evan Berger came in very late on a tackle. Scuffles broke out and it took several minutes for calm to be restored, both sides lucky not to receive red cards. Victory's Mate Dugandzic then scored with the last touch of the game, restoring some pride.
The game itself announced two things - that Adelaide are serious title contenders, and that Melbourne have some work to do. The disappointing output of Melbourne's forward line also proved that they are much less dangerous without Robbie Kruse on the park, a proposition that they will have to deal with leading up to the finals race. The Victory now travel interstate to take on arch rival Sydney FC on Saturday night.
Summary: Adelaide United 4 - 1 Melbourne Victory '12 Flores (Adl) '57 van Dijk (Adl) '74 Barbiero (Adl) '77 van Dijk (Adl) '90+3 Dugandzic (Mel)