Reds struggled with City's press: Elrich

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.

Sensational Fornaroli nets brace as City edge Reds

“(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.

Bruno Fornaroli celebrates one of his two goals against Adelaide United.

“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!”