A stunning performance by Paul Izzo has helped Adelaide United defeat Melbourne Victory 2-1 at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

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Goals to Papa Babacar Diawara and substitute George Blackwood looked to have sealed the win for Adelaide, however the work of Izzo didn’t go unnoticed.

A penalty save coupled with two late red cards to Daniel Adlung and Ben Garuccio meant it wasn’t all easy going for Adelaide.

Mark Milligan made a welcome return from suspension with a specular flick and volley but it wasn’t enough for Victory who are stuck on two wins.

It was just two minutes gone when Ersan Gulum rose to get a header on target following a corner, but went straight at Lawrence Thomas.

After 17 minutes Adelaide got their goal through Diawara.

His first goal of the season was an impressive header as he beat Milligan in the air and left Thomas stranded.

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The action for Diawara didn’t stop there and half an hour later he was able to chest the ball down, turn his body and in the same motion volley towards goal.

A diving save by Thomas halted what could’ve been a spectacular goal.

A few minutes later it was James Troisi’s turn who had Victory’s best attempt of the half. His deflected shot off Jordan Elsey forced Izzo to stretch and kept it out well.

Victory then got a handball penalty decision very close to half-time. It was chaos in the box before Jason Geria’s shot hit Garuccio’s arm to give Besart Berisha the spot kick.

It produced a remarkable save from Izzo as his strong hand pushed the ball away before heading into the break.

Eleven minutes into the second-half it was Victory who equalised.

Milligan was able to flick the ball up with his right foot and volleyed with the left.

His low drive into the bottom right was no chance for Izzo to stop.

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In the 68th minute Blackwood came on and made a real impact inside the next four minutes.

First he pounced on a turnover and passed to Nikola Mileusnic but he couldn’t beat Thomas one-on-one.

It was then role reversal as Mileusnic accurately found Blackwood with a low cross and hit it first time with power down the middle, restoring Adelaide’s lead.

From the 83rd minute, the contest had a couple of twists. Adlung received a second yellow card for a clumsy tackle on Matias Sanchez.

It suddenly got worse, as Garuccio copped a double yellow for time-wasting by failing to throw the ball in and reduced Adelaide to nine men.

An intense stoppage time involved Victory really pushing for the equaliser.

Izzo made himself a real presence to help Adelaide clinch what turned out to be a hard-fought win.

Melbourne Victory 1 (Milligan 56′)
Adelaide United 2 (Diawara 17′, Blackwood 72′)

Etihad Stadium

Referee: Kurt AMS
Assistant Referees: George LAKRINDIS & Wilson BROWN
Fourth Offical: Jack MORGAN

Melbourne Victory
2. GERIA Jason, 4. WILLIAMS Rhys, 5. MILLIGAN Mark (18. SANCHEZ Matias 70′), 8. BERISHA Besart, 9. BARBAROUSES Kosta (23. INGHAM Jai 80′), 10. TROISI James, 14. DENG Thomas, 20. THOMAS Lawrence (GK), 21. VALERI Carl (c), 22. NIGRO Stefan (6. BROXHAM Leigh 80′), 41. GEORGE Leroy.
Substitutes: 1. ACTON Matthew (GK), 7. ATHIU Kenjok.

Adelaide United
7. KITTO Ryan, 8. ISAIAS (c), 9. DIAWARA Papa Babacar (14. BLACKWOOD George 68′), 16. KONSTANDOPOULOS Nathan, 17. MILEUSNIC Nikola (12. OCHIENG Mark 74′), 19. GARUCCIO Benjamin, 20. IZZO Paul (GK), 22. GULUM Ersan, 23. ELSEY Jordan, 29. STRAIN Ryan (2. MARRONE Michael 74′), 37. ADLUNG Daniel.
Substitutes: 1. MARGUSH Daniel (GK), 6. LIA Vince.

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Liam Watson is covering Melbourne Victory this season while completing Media and Communications at La Trobe University.