| PHOTO: Jim Webster |
The Melbourne Heart have eased past the second-placed Adelaide United with a 2-0 win at AAMI Park.
The Heart hit the back of the net in the opening five minutes of both halves through Josip Tadic and Richard Garcia, while the Reds were very disappointing and didn’t look like the side sitting in second.
Adelaide’s start was very sloppy as they struggled to hold the ball and found it hard to clear from their defensive third and they were punished.
Fred’s delightful cross from the right was wonderfully headed past Reds ‘keeper Eugene Galekovic by Tadic, but the Adelaide defence didn’t help with some lazy marking.
Adelaide slowly made their way back into the game as the game’s tempo dawdled down.
The Reds threatened from out wide with Iain Ramsay and Evan Kostopoulos and it was the latter who combined sensationally well with Dario Vidosic, but the playmaker blasted the cross over from six yards out.
The frenetic pace from the opening minutes returned for last five minutes of the first-half as Adelaide pushed, while the Heart still threatened through Fred, although the Brazilian wasted his chances.
The Heart continued their great start of halves with Garcia doubling the lead with his fifth of the season just four minutes after the resumption.
Matt Thompson snatched the ball of a lackadaisical Kostopoulos, powered towards goal, before poking out to Garcia who coolly slotted through Galekovic’s legs.
Both sides were dealt with blows with key players forced to come off with injury. Fred looked to have damaged his quad, while Vidosic collided with Fred’s replacement Nick Kalmar, before limping off.
Adelaide struggled to string a few passes together as John Kosmina’s side looked to go direct with some long passes, while failing to test Andrew Redmayne in goals for Heart.
The Reds’ best chance of a disappointing half came via substitute Jon McKain, but the former Adelaide Captain thumped his free kick just wide.
The win puts Heart temporarily back into the top five, while Adelaide are still two points behind the leaders Central Coast with the rest of the round to be played.