A-League

January 18, 2013

Full-time

Melbourne Heart

2 - 0

Adelaide United

A-League

9:30 +00:00, January 18, 2013

AAMI Park

Heart skipper Fred to miss four AL games

Melbourne Heart's superb win over Adelaide has been tempered by confirmation their captain Fred has a strained quadriceps muscle and is facing one month on the sidelines.

Brazilian playmaker Fred injured his left quad just 10 minutes into the second half of Friday's clash at AAMI Park with scans the following day showing a strain.

The Heart remain the A-League's red-and-white shirted riddle - and their great 2-0 win over high-flying Adelaide did little to change it.

The home side controlled the match against a good side from kick-off and showed no sign of the capitulations which have dogged them this season.

They now sit inside the top six, and at their best look serious finals players.

But it made even more perplexing their worst as seen the previous week - leading and outplaying bottom side Sydney FC before conceding twice in the last five minutes and losing.

If A-League matches were 45 minutes long, the Heart would lead the competition - statistics showing they are the best-performed first half side in the league.

Yet they are also the worst second half team in the competition, as shown by their alarming fadeouts at key moments this season.

Coach John Aloisi paid tribute to his team's ability to learn from the Sydney FC defeat, the importance of coaching each other on-field, and maintaining focus for the full 90 minutes.

And Aloisi believes the quality of the performance against Adelaide - especially how rock-solid they were late on unlike other games this season - showed just how good his side can be.

"When you're controlling a game like we are for 80 minutes, it's important the players don't change the style of play, and coach each other ... make sure players don't start doing their own thing," Aloisi said.

"The players did that (against Adelaide). You could hear them out there coaching each other, organising and helping each other.

"It was a good performance, considering what happened last week. A lot of questions were asked about fitness, about concentration, about are we good enough.

"But the boys showed against a team that's second-top, we can beat anyone in this league.

"We have to now, for the next 10 games, show that we can keep playing like that."

The Heart have now won three of their past four matches and have a platform to build serious momentum towards the finals.

Scoring Summary

Melbourne Heart Adelaide United
Josip Tadic (5') 
Richard Garcia (50')