Why the original rivalry is still the best

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The rivalry between Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory has seen a number of tense tussles of the years with some boiling over into outright chaos.

Known as the ‘original rivalry’ it’s always a game hotly anticipated by fans upon the release of A-League fixtures.

Here’s why we think the original is still the best rivalry in the A-League

It’s the oldest

When the A-League started the Adelaide United, Melbourne Victory rivalry was easily the biggest of them all. With the addition of Melbourne City and Western Sydney Wanderers to instate some turf wars it can probably be argued that it’s not the biggest clash of the season any more. But given that it’s been around as long as the league itself its value has only increased.

But it’s more than about the league. Victoria and South Australia have always had a love-hate relationship. The two states hate each other and they love it. In all aspects of Australian life the Victoria – SA battle has raged, from sport to politics to culture. The A-League was never going to escape that.

It’s always had colourful characters

John Kosmina and Kevin Muscat are two of the biggest and most notorious names in Australian football. Outspoken, brash and divisive, it’s no wonder these two ended up in a battle of fisticuffs when Muscat was Victory’s captain and Kosmina was Adelaide’s coach.

Now Muscat coaches Melbourne, and his ability to keep tabs over Adelaide’s former coach Josep Gombau was a cause of much frustration for the Spaniard. Known for his flamboyance, Gombau was always extra excitable when coming up against the old foe. It didn’t get him far though, his team never won in six attempts against Muscat’s men.

The Grand Finals

Twice these two clubs have faced off in Grand Finals, and twice Melbourne Victory has won them. But that’s not why this is special.

In 06/07 Archie Thompson buried five goals in Melbourne’s 6-0 win over the Reds in the most one-sided final of the League’s history and in 08/09 controversial red cards to both sides left fans in a rage as Victory took the crown 1-0. It’s happy reading if you’re a Melbourne Victory fan, but the thing with the original rivalry is that you never know what’s going to happen next.

Let us know about your favourite original rivalry moments @thefootballsack

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