Key Adelaide United right-back Tarek Elrich had the daunting task of marking Spanish superstar David Villa in United’s epic 2-1 win against Melbourne City on Friday evening.
The defender managed to hold-out World Cup-winning Villa, as well as bagging an impressive assist when his pin-point cross found the head of in-form marksman Bruce Djite for United’s equalizer.
However, despite his world-class cross and tremendous performance, a modest Elrich pointed to the hard work of Djite when questioned about his contribution to Adelaide’s stunning first goal.
“Bruce obviously works hard every game and last season I don’t think he got credited as much,” Elrich said.
“But he does work exceptionally hard and I’m just glad he got on the end of the cross”.
Elrich also acknowledged the unquestionable quality of Villa, and his input in helping to raise the profile of the A-league.
“You don’t win World Cups and Champions Leagues being a bad player,” Elrich said.
“He’s (Villa) just quality, he’s tidy on the ball, he’s sharp, and you know, I had the honour of marking him... he’s someone I’ve always looked up to and rated highly”.
Friday’s victory temporarily places Adelaide on top of the Hyundai A-league table, as the Reds now look ahead to an intriguing encounter with Sydney FC next Friday evening.
Adelaide United will take on Sydney FC this Friday 7 November at Coopes Stadium. Kick-off 7:10pm. To purchase tickets, click here.