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  • Writer's pictureChristian Marchetti

Three conclusions as Adelaide win first Original Rivalry of the season

Adelaide United have edged the Melbourne Victory in the latest Original Rivalry, following an intense affair at Coopers Stadium on Saturday evening.

Below are our three key conclusions from the Reds 1-0 win.

Injury crisis already?

Players from both sides greet each other ahead of the first Original Rivalry of 2020/21. (Jordan Trombetta)

We're two games into the new season, and the Melbourne Victory already has two strikers out injured.

Ben Folami has been sidelined indefinitely with a knee injury, whilst Grant Brebner will be anxiously awaiting the verdict on Rudy Gestede post-match.

The ex-Aston Villa and Middlesbrough target man headed straight down the tunnel after just ten minutes.

Victory could potentially be without their only two recognised strikers for an extended period, something all the more concerning when you look at their lack of creativity.

They had to rely on a moment of individual brilliance from Callum Mcmanaman against Brisbane last time out, whilst they barely worked James Delianov tonight.

One of the reasons they lack goals could be an unwillingness to adapt their game plan too.

Early on, the focus was very much on using a big target man like Gestede to put pressure on Adelaide's defensive pairing of Michael Jakobsen and Jordan Elsey.

Crosses were whipped into the box continuously, but what was strange is that they continued to do so despite Gestede's substitution.

It seemed hard to believe that any one of Mcmanaman, Marco Rojas or Elvis Kamsoba was going to beat Jakobsen or Elsey aerially.

Victory need to find a way around this injury crisis because failing to trouble this Adelaide side, who conceded five in Perth just three days ago, is a real concern.

Toure time

Mohamed Toure burst onto the scene last season when he became the youngest ever goalscorer in the competition, by netting in a 2-0 win over the Mariners.

But tonight was arguably an even more significant milestone for the 16-year-old.

He proved he is more than capable of leading the Reds' attack.

Right from the off, his electrifying pace caused all sorts of issues for both Ryan Shotton and Dylan Ryan.

He should have scored in the first half after being played clean through by Ben Halloran, and his goal was arguably a more difficult chance.

The exciting prospect utilised his frightening pace to brush aside Ryan, before finishing brilliantly with his left foot into the far corner.

Toure celebrates the winner for Adelaide. (Jordan Trombetta)

Every time the youngster gets near the ball Reds fans get ready to jump out of their seat.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if a European team came knocking in twelve months.

Si Senor!

When Ryan Strain was hooked at halftime for Javi Lopez, I raised eyebrows at the substitution by Carl Veart.

Strain looked a lively threat down the right in the first half, and if anything the lack of service he got from his teammates was a more significant issue.

But Lopez was introduced and showed his worth immediately, diving into tackles and showcasing his supreme passing ability.

His brilliantly weighted ball down the channel invited Toure to nip in ahead of Ryan and give the Reds the lead.

When he signed for the club, I said that if he has half the impact his close friend Isaias had in Adelaide, he would be a huge fan favourite.

In the words of Simon Hill: "Si Senor, Si!"


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