Argentine ace Marcelo Carrusca and his Adelaide United teammates have toyed with Western Sydney in a 2-0 romp to leave the Wanderers’ A-League campaign in ruin.
Carrusca scored one goal and set up Fabio Ferreria for the other in Adelaide’s stylish Saturday night triumph at Coopers Stadium.
The Wanderers, winless from nine league games this season, fly to Morocco on Sunday ahead of a December 14 date with Mexico’s Cruz Azul in the World Club Challenge.
But the Asian champions are doomed for a gloomy domestic campaign on the evidence of their efforts against a sizzling Adelaide.
The Reds won with great panache, producing 26 shots to the Wanderers’ lonely one to delight the parochial 12,122-strong Adelaide crowd.
Carrusca opened scoring for the third-placed Reds against an overwhelmed Wanderers, who lost captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley in the 17th minute.
Topor-Stanley was initially yellow-carded for a needless ankle clip on Carrusca. Just two minutes later, he copped another yellow after deemed to deliberately handball.
Adelaide then put their collective foot to the floor with eye-catching flair, unleashing wave upon wave of attack.
Their breakthrough came when Spanish attacker Cirio arrowed a cut-back pass to Carrusca, who sweetly caressed a left-footer into the net from seven metres out.
Adelaide’s complete command was evidenced by halftime statistics: 10 shots to none; 72 per cent possession; 311 passes to just 128.
And the 10-man Wanderers were powerless to turn the tide in the second half with Ferreria sealing their losing fate in the 55th minute.
The Portuguese flyer steamed toward goal and laid off to Carrusca who instantly delivered an audacious chip back into the winger’s path which Ferreria then blasted into net, via a far-post rebound.
Some 15 minutes later the duo set up what almost became a team goal for the ages: consecutive showy back-heel passes to each other in an attacking chain which ended with Cirio in space just metres from goal.
But the Spaniard spoilt the potential highlight reel by muffing the shot – one of several missed chances for the Reds.
Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau lauded the win, which extended the Reds’ unbeaten streak at home to 14 games.
“We played a very good game, we played very good football,” Gombau said.
“But it’s true they were with 10 (men). The aim is to play like this against 11.”
Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said Topor-Stanley’s send off changed the tune of the fixture.
“In the first 20 minutes, they were not better than us,” he said.
“But the game changes with that send off – 70 minutes with 10 men, a team that is playing a third game in a week, it’s difficult.