Victory overpowered by Adelaide

An undermanned Melbourne Victory has failed to overcome Adelaide United with Ange Postecoglou's men losing 4-2 despite a persistent performance in the second half.

An undermanned Melbourne Victory has failed to overcome Adelaide United with Ange Postecoglou's men losing 4-2 despite a persistent performance in the second half.

In Friday night's Hyundai A-League battle of second versus third, Adelaide produced a first-half blitz and then held on after the break to win their seventh game of the season.

Having gone behind in just the second minute to a tap-in from Evan Kostopoulos, Melbourne restored parity four minutes later through a classic counterattack finished off by Andrew Nabbout and created by Marco Rojas.

But by half-time Victory trailed 4-1 and despite Rojas reducing the deficit just two minutes after the break, the Big V could not find another goal in the second half.

The much-anticipated return of Victory attacking midfielder Marcos Flores to his former club started in typically fiery fashion at Hindmarsh Stadium with the Argentine fouled by Dario Vidosic and the Reds playmaker was yellow carded just seconds later when he tripped Adrian Leijer.

Kostopoulos finished off a cut back from Fabio Ferreira to open the scoring but with the home fans still taking their seats; Flores produced a fine through ball to help Melbourne tie the game.

The Argentine placed the ball in behind Cassio for Rojas to run on to and the young Kiwi squared the ball to Nabbout, who struck his right-footed shot first time past Adelaide goalkeeper Paul Izzo.

In a frantic opening to the match both sides produced scoring opportunities with Nabbout almost getting a second goal after 15 minutes when his deflected strike had Izzo scrambling.

Melbourne had the better of the first 20 minutes with Nabbout and Rojas looking dangerous on the break but it was the home side that struck next, scoring two goals in quick succession.

Both goals came from the left-hand side of Victory's defence as Ferreira and Marcelo Carrusca hit the top corner with long-range shots in the 21st and 25th minutes respectively.

Victory's first half went from bad to worse in the 32nd minute when Kostopoulos headed home from close range.

Nathan Coe produced two fine stops to keep Victory in the match just before half-time and straight after the break, Rojas scored a classy goal to make it 4-2.

Billy Celeski slid the ball to Finkler on the edge of the box and the Brazilian playmaker, surrounded by Adelaide defenders, found Rojas, who rolled past Nigel Boogaard and side-footed home for his sixth goal of the season.

The game seemed set up for a cracking come back from Victory but they failed to produce too many clear-cut opportunities after the break and Adelaide held on for the win.

Adelaide United 4 (Kostopoulos 3, 32, Ferreira 21, Carrusca 25) Melbourne Victory 2 (Nabbout 5, Rojas 47)