Adelaide United marched to an emphatic 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory, built on the back of a scintillating first-half performance at Coopers Stadium on Wednesday night.
It was a vital three points for Adelaide as goals from Craig Goodwin and Ken Ilsø helped strengthened their position in the top six.
Here are three things we took away from a truly memorable night:
High-pressing game suffocated Victory
One of Marco Kurz’s key messages in the lead up to the Original Rivalry contest was to press Melbourne high up the park. The Reds’ ability to apply pressure on Victory’s defensive line and midfielders proved pivotal in swinging the momentum in their favour, particularly in the first-half. It forced the Victory backline into uncharacteristic mistakes and turnovers due to Adelaide’s overwhelming intensity.
Both goals derived from exactly that as Isaías initially won the ball in midfield before releasing Nikola Mileusnić with a defence-splitting through ball on the right-wing. The speedster delivered a first-time low cross into the box for a sliding Goodwin to finish clinically beyond Lawrence Thomas. Adelaide’s second arrived just three minutes later, in the 21st minute, as Ilsø dispossessed centre-back, Thomas Deng, who was caught on the ball and the Dane duly capitalised doubling the advantage.
Isaías bossed the game in midfield
Just a day after receiving his Australian citizenship, Isaías delivered one of his most influential performances in his 164-game career and counting with the Reds. He was simply immense and had the ball on a string at times as his clever trickery and guile allowed him to evade his opponents with relative ease.
It was a real Captain’s performance from the 31-year-old as he dominated the centre of the park. As mentioned, he orchestrated Goodwin’s opener after an exquisite pass for Mileusnić, while creating a further five chances. His reading of the game was immaculate as well, registering four interceptions and three successful tackles, while prevailing in nine of his duels. A special, special player.
Electric atmosphere spurred the Reds on
It is no secret the best venue in the country to watch football is at Coopers Stadium when it is rocking like Wednesday night. More than 12,100 fans crammed into the stadium as both sets of supporters contributed to making it a captivating spectacle, as the boisterous atmosphere reverberated around the ground. The Red Army were in full voice for the entire 90 minutes, interacting with the rest of the terraces to really give the players a lift when they were on the back-foot.
Adelaide United face Sydney FC in Round 13 of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season on Sunday, 13 January at Jubilee Stadium. Kick-off is at 5.30pm ACDT. Live on Fox Sports, and streamed on the My Football Live App.