The Brisbane Roar have gone four points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League table after handing second-placed Adelaide United a 4-0 drubbing at Suncorp Stadium on Satuday night.
The Brisbane Roar have gone four points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League table after handing second-placed Adelaide United a 4-0 drubbing at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.
Brisbane outplayed the visitors in the opening 45, but it wasn't until they went a man down in the second half that they really began to fire.
Playing a man short in their third game in eight days, the Roar dug deep and went on a rampage, lifting the tempo to pour in another three unanswered goals, with Kosta Barbarouses claiming a brace.
Brisbane coach Ange Postecoglou was left in awe of the spirit shown by his side to break the game open with only 10 men.
"It was a fantastic response (to Reinaldo getting sent off)," he said.
"It was almost like we lifted another gear… I thought we were untouchable for 10 or 15 minutes there."
Adelaide coach Rini Coolen was remarkably calm despite falling to a second consecutive loss, preferring to credit the Brisbane-brilliance for the wide margin.
"They were too good for us today. They play a really high level, they're definitely the best team we've played against and the best team in the league," he said
"They're getting better and better. I've said it before, the way they play.. it's a really high level."
Star import Thomas Broich took less than two minutes to impose himself on the game, taking the ball on the left and making a trademark run into the box, where he made space to take the first shot of the game.
Van Dijk answered with a hard shot with his left-foot just minutes later, giving Michael Theoklitos his first work of the day.
Matt McKay opened the game up for Brisbane with some purposeful attacking. The pint-sized skipper dribbled hard at the box and then gave Eugene Galekovic a test with a drive from his non-preferred right-foot.
McKay seemed determined to put his side ahead and he followed his first attempt with another two solid efforts in short time, one from a well-worked corner and the other after strong lead-up work from Reinaldo.
The opening goal came in the 43rd when Reinaldo took the ball with his back to goal on the edge of the area. The big forward held his man up beautifully and then swivelled on the ball and swept the ball past Galekovic and inside the far post.
Remarkably, it was Brisbane who came out the stronger after the break and before another five minutes had been played, Reinaldo, Broich and Barbarouses all had shots at goal.
After a quality opening it took a moment of controversy to spark Brisbane into over-drive.
Chasing yet another dangerous through-ball, Reinaldo was brought down by Robert Cornthwaite. Referee Matt Breeze showed the Adelaide defender the yellow, yet it was Brisbane who lost a man when Reinaldo suggested it should have been a red and was given his own marching orders for back-chat after earlier being carded for taking off his shirt.
But Brisbane responded with an amazing passage of play. From the following free kick they scrambled the harder to pick up the loose ball and when Erik Paartalu sent it back into the area from near the baseline, Matt Smith was on hand to slam it home.
The Roar faithful went wild, but the best was yet to come.
Playing a man down, Brisbane took the attack to their opposition and in no time had added another pair of goals, kicking out to a 4-0 lead and leaving the visitors shell-shocked.
Barbarouses was the man to score the next two, converting first from inside the box and then upping the ante with a long-range pearler to capitalise on a strong run from Luke DeVere.
Naturally the breath-taking level of football was hard to maintain, but as the Roar cooled down from their hot patch they were still the more dangerous side and continued to have the better of the going all the way to the final whistle.
Brisbane Roar: 4 (Reinaldo 43, Smith 56, Barbarouses 62, 67) Adelaide United: 0 Crowd: 13248