Adelaide United crushed Sydney FC 3-0 at the Allianz Stadium, drawing boos for Frank Farina and lifting the visitors into fifth place. The game pitted the A-League's fifth place team, Sydney, against its sixth, Adelaide, but by the end of the night, those positions had been reversed. Bruce Djite and Fabio Ferreira scored in a dominant first half for the Reds while substitute Jeronimo put the game away ten minutes from time.
The calls for Farina's head were nothing new, though they were accompanied by a large and visible banner. Apart from Sydney's January 26 destruction of Melbourne Victory, the Sky Blues have not won since December 15 against Melbourne Heart, a run of one win in eight. Dropping points in such a fashion against a direct rival for a finals position will not leave Sydney fans particularly happy and reduces the Sky Blues' position to sixth place. Meanwhile, the seventh, eighth and ninth place teams, Perth Glory, Wellington Phoenix and Newcastle Jets, are all less than three points behind Sydney with a game in hand.
For Adelaide, the win is a nice rebound after a tough performance in Auckland against Wellington last weekend. All three points do not guarantee anything at this point but they are now within just three points of Melbourne Victory for fourth place, with a game in hand. That Josep Gombau was able to rest Jeronimo and Cirio for at least the first half and still leave Sydney with a comprehensive victory is important as the Reds have a massive game against Central Coast Mariners next weekend. Three points could see United as high as third place. Additionally, Gombau was able to introduce Michael Marrone without any pressure, as the new recruit returned to Adelaide for the first time since 2010 and had only to manage a 2-0 lead upon his entry in the 73rd minute.
As mentioned, Adelaide host the Mariners on Friday February 14 with third place on the line. Sydney will host Perth Glory at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday February 15.
ADL Djite (Ferreira) 16'
ADL Ferreira (Zullo) 27'
ADL Jeronimo (Cirio) 80'
Sydney FC: Janjetovic; Abbas, Petkovic, Jurman, Ryall; Dimitrijevic, Caton (Carle 46'), Gligor (Thompson 46'); Del Piero, Gameiro, Despotovic
Unused substitutes: Necevski, Mallia, Calver
Adelaide United: Galekovic; Elrich, Boogaard, McKain, Malik; Currusca, Watson, Isaias; Zullo (Cirio 61'), Djite (Marrone 73'), Ferreira (Jeronimo 63')
Unused substitutes: Izzo, Mabil