Melbourne Victory coach Ange Postecoglou did not appreciate Adelaide United’s physical approach in their 1-0 loss at Hindmarsh Stadium on Friday.
The Victory were battered and bruised from the outset by a spirited United side.
The Reds conceded 13 fouls in the opening half and were shown five yellow cards, much to the disgust of caretaker coach Michael Valkanis, who was ejected for furiously reacting to referee Jarred Gillet’s performance.
Victory could not settle on the ball or play their passing game as the stop-start nature of the match worked in favour of Adelaide, who took the lead in the 42nd minute through Jeronimo Neumann and hung on for victory.
Postecoglou admitted United’s physical approach worked against his team, and the dual A-League championship coach was not happy with the football the contest produced.
“It was physical and when it’s like that it’s pretty hard to get a decent flow in the game – it’s pretty disruptive and stop-start all the time,” Postecoglou said.
“It makes it hard to get any flow or rhythm into it, which from our perspective and the kind of football we want to play, is not conducive to it, and that made it difficult.
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I just don’t think it was a great game. That’s just me. Other people will say it was fantastic.
“It wasn’t anything I could really get excited about … it was just a disruptive game.
“It’s not how I like my football served. I might be a minority in that and that’s fine.
“Adelaide won and good luck to them.”
Despite failing to adapt to Adelaide’s unsettling tactics, Melbourne fought gallantly to claw their way back into the clash in the second half.
But Victory could not carve out opportunities in the attacking third and collectively fired off just three shots for the game with only one on target.
Despite being shut out in front of goal, Postecoglou disagreed with the general consensus in the post-match assessment that his troops struggled.
“I’m pretty proud of the boys, they put in a really decent shift,” Postecoglou said.
“It wasn’t exciting, it wasn’t sexy, but we still tick some boxes.
“I thought in general terms our composure was really good and that we were still trying to stay in control of things.
“I was really pleased with the composure our players showed in trying to stick to what we want to do.
“We obviously wanted to come here and win, and play well, but we couldn’t win so with that in mind you just dust yourself off and move onto the next challenge.”
Postecoglou confirmed star striker Archie Thompson was substituted in the first half as a precaution after pulling up sore with a hamstring injury.