What is the Original Rivalry?
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory. Red v Blue. When it comes to combustible match-ups in the Hyundai A-League, few have the same intensity and drama as the Original Rivalry.
It’s apt that the next instalment of this bitter feud comes on Good Friday because there’s a lot to like about what should be a great occasion at Coopers Stadium.
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Both sides are in desperate need of the three points – the Reds to remain in the top four and Victory to stay in the hunt for a top-two spot.
It all points to another thrilling chapter in the always spicy battle between Adelaide and Victory.
What is the Original Rivalry?
Whether it’s culture, politics or sport, Victoria and South Australia have long shared a strong dislike for each other… the two states seem to thrive on it.
So when the Hyundai A-League started it was only natural that there would be some sporting animosity between Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United.
And what’s unfolded on the pitch since the start of the Hyundai A-League in 2005/06 has only strengthened the rivalry between the clubs.
Do they really dislike each other?
You could say that. Just ask John Kosmina and Kevin Muscat. One of the most iconic images from the 2006/07 campaign came in a fiery clash in Melbourne, where Adelaide pulled off a shock 1-0 win.
But the real fireworks happened on the sideline between then-Adelaide coach Kosmina and Victory skipper Kevin Muscat.
When the ball rolled out near the Reds technical area, Kosmina went to pick up the ball, only to be pushed to the ground by Muscat trying to retrieve the ball himself.
Kosmina responded by getting to his feet and grabbing the Victory captain by the throat. It’s an incident that has set the tone for what has followed in this fiery fixture.
Who’s enjoyed more success?
Reds fans look away now. While Adelaide have one championship to their name, Victory lead the way with four titles, including two Grand Final wins over the Reds.
Victory’s 6-0 demolition of Adelaide in the 2007 decider – where Archie Thompson scored FIVE goals – lives in Hyundai A-League folklore.
While the second Grand Final win two years later was much closer – a 1-0 triumph for Victory (see the highlights at the top of the page) – those associated with the Reds would still be hurting from losing the biggest match of the season to their fierce rivals multiple times.
What are some of the classic clashes?
The two Grand Finals aside, these two clubs have been involved in some epic battles down the years.
One which stands out for Adelaide fans came in 2010/11, when the Reds headed to Melbourne having lost the last 10 games in a row against their hosts.
So no one would have predicted what happened next, as a Sergio van Dijk-inspired Adelaide crushed Victory 4-1 at the newly-opened AAMI Park.
A highlight for Victory came at the same venue just last season in the Finals Series.
Muscat's men came from behind to win 2-1 thanks to Besart Berisha’s overhead kick in the final minute on their way to the title.