Adelaide United fullback Tarek Elrich admits Melbourne City successfully stifled the reigning champions as they slumped to a third straight 2-1 defeat on Friday night.
The Reds struggled to create openings until late in the game against a tiring City side, with Sergi Guardiola’s second-half header the visitors’ only recorded shot on goal.
“(City’s) pressure in the fast-half, they didn’t let us get into the game or let the boys in the midfield get onto the ball,” Elrich told ABC Grandstand.
“It’s just a shame it took (conceding) two goals for us to actually get more involved in attack.
“It’s very disappointing with this start we’re having. I don’t think we’re that sort of team to be where we are on the table, even though we’re only four rounds in.”
Adelaide have now scored only a single goal in each of the competition’s first four weeks as they search for answers to the injury-enforced absences of Henrique, Sergio Cirio and Marcelo Carrusca.
Elrich came close to a second spectacular goal in as many weeks when he forced Dean Bouzanis to backtrack and tip a dipping delivery over the bar in the 83rd minute.
Despite looking like a misdirected cross, the 29-year-old claims it was part of a plan to catch out the City shot-stopper.
“I told my wife during the week their ‘keeper plays like a centre-back and if I get a chance I’m just going to try my luck,” Elrich revealed.
“I didn’t even look, I just took a touch and hit it. I nearly caught him!”