Toivonen and Barbarouses terrorise Adelaide in 'Marvel'ous display
Ola Toivonen was the star of the show as Melbourne Victory downed Adelaide United 2-0 in a fiery Hyundai A-League clash at Marvel Stadium.
Toivonen leapt highest on 62 minutes and his shot, which was denied by Paul Izzo, fell into the path of Kosta Barbarouses who fired Victory in front.
The Sweden international grabbed Victory’s second goal, and had a hand in the first in a fixture that really showcased his quality.
The result put Melbourne Victory into first place on 15 points, leap-frogging Perth Glory who are yet to play.
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Victory were forced into an early change on eight minutes after Georg Niedermeier landed awkwardly and appeared to roll his ankle.
Adelaide pounced on the reshuffle minutes later when Michael Marrone struck the crossbar with a bullet of a header. The 31-year-old climbed over Leigh Broxham and fired past Lawrence Thomas only to be denied by the woodwork.
The Reds appeared lucky to not concede a penalty midway through the first half. Scott Galloway cushioned the ball into the air which struck his right hand. Referee Shaun Evans waved away Victory’s pleas, as did VAR, leaving Victory players fuming.
Victory almost conceded on the verge of the half, were it not for the heroics of Thomas. Marrone was quickest to react to a sprawl in the box, denied by Thomas who leapt forward and smothered the shot.
An attritional, tactical battle ensued as both sides cancelled each other out. Melbourne Victory enjoyed the share of possession while the Reds absorbed the pressure, preventing the home side from creating any meaningful chances.
Adelaide’s fort would eventually be breached on 62’ thanks largely to Toivonen. The Sweden international made himself a nuisance all game, and had his header saved by Paul Izzo.
Barbarouses, anticipating a save, expertly read Izzo’s parry and slotted the ball into the bottom-right corner for his second goal in as many weeks.
Adelaide had a chance to restore parity on 73 minutes when Halloran latched onto a sumptuous ball by Isaias. Just as he denied Marrone in the first half, Thomas spread himself wide to smother Halloran’s attempted chip.
Victory would capitalise on Adelaide’s profligacy, and boy did they do it in style.
Troisi fed Antonis who, with his back to goal, played a back-heel into the path of Toivonen. In on goal, there was only one result as the Swede slotted the ball past an onrushing Izzo and put the result beyond doubt for Victory.
The win was Melbourne Victory's fifth on the trot, Kevin Muscat's side now the form team of the competition.