Adelaide rolls City at Hindmarsh

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Adelaide United has romped home to a 4-1 win over Melbourne City at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night in front of 8,773 fans in cool but clear conditions.

Adelaide’s performance was a much-needed boost ahead of the impending finals series, after a run of poor results had the Reds looking increasingly shaky.

That’s not to say the performance was flawless; a silly penalty and sending off in the second half took the gloss off an otherwise impressive display, but it was a sign that the Reds are still a dark horse in the season’s climax.

The home side was helped to victory by an outstanding solo effort from Tarek Elrich after the big defender skipped past five City defenders from the halfway line, eventually reaching the six-yard box where he buried a shot past Tando Velaphi.

The goal was a stunning display of individual brilliance from the recently capped Socceroo and his first goal in United colours will surely be a contender for goal of the season. Furthermore, he was awarded the Anzac Day Medal for his efforts.

Earlier the Reds took the lead via Miguel Palanca’s first goal for the club. The Spaniard found himself unmarked in the box after collecting Pablo Sanchez’s ball, and was able to beat Velaphi from a very tight angle in the 19th minute.

Just four minutes later, the advantage was doubled when Pablo Sanchez had the goal at his mercy, and buried a fierce volley after Velaphi had blocked a shot from Sergio Cirio.

The second half turned the sublime in to the farcical, however, as both sides converted penalties and had a player sent off.

In the 66th minute, Kew Jaliens saw red after bringing Craig Goodwin down in a goal-scoring position and Michael Marrone got his marching orders after going studs-up on Stefan Mauk just four minutes later.

Serenity was soon restored, however, and the Anzac Day clash fell easily to United as boss Josep Gombau lauded his team’s performance in the final game of the league.

“I was happy with all the game, I think we did well, and it’s a good feeling for next week, for the finals,” Gobau said.

“Every game is different and today we win, but the important thing is next week we win.”

His opposite number John van’t Schip was less than impressed with his side’s showing, saying his charges were never in the match.

“I think we were not in the game at all in the first half hour and before we knew it we were 3-0 behind,” he said.

“We had some chances in the first half… [but] all over the game we had nothing to complain about, Adelaide deserved the win.”

With the home-and-away leg of the season now complete for both clubs, their finals fixtures next week are unknown, but there is a very high chance it could be a rematch at Coopers, provided Wellington beats Sydney FC on Sunday.

Adelaide United: 1. Eugene Galekovic (C) (GK), 2. Michael Marrone, 4. Dylan McGowan, 5. Osama Malik (68’ Ben Warland), 7. Pablo Sanchez, 9. Sergio Cirio, 11. Bruce Djite (56’ Cameron Watson), 16. Craig Coogwin, 19. Miguel Palanca (77’ Dylan Smith), 21. Tarek Elrich, 24. Bruce Kamau

Unused substitutes: Mark Ochieng, Paul Izzo

Melbourne City: 4. Connor Chapman, 5. Erik Paartalu, 6. Aaron Mooy, 9. Harry Novillo (68’ Nicholas Symeoy), 10. Robert Koren, 13. Jonathon Germano (65’ Stefan Mauk), 16. Josh Kennedy (60’ David Williams), 17. Jason Hoffman, 20. Tando Velaphi (GK), 24. Patrick Kisnorbo (C), 27. Kew Jaliens

Unused substitutes: Andrew Redmayne, Massimo Murdocca

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