Gombau revels in Victory rivalry

Adelaide coach Josep Gombau enjoys the spectacle and theatre of his club’s storied rivalry with Melbourne Victory despite having yet to taste personal victory against the arch enemy following Saturday’s 2-2 draw at Coopers Stadium.

Neither side gave an inch nor a backward, negative step in a typically bruising yet attacking blockbuster between the two rivals, who were unable to be split after 90 minutes.

The Reds overcame an early deficit to take a brief lead in the 74th minute through Dylan McGowan but were ultimately left to ponder what might have been when long-time opposition bogeyman Archie Thompson levelled the scores three minutes later.

Gombau is now winless in six head-to-head encounters against Victory - and Muscat - but is confident that elusive win will arrive.

“It's coming … it's coming. We are waiting for the big day and then we will win,” the Spanish mentor said with a smile.

“The games against them are fantastic to watch.

“Sometimes you play against other teams and they defend and don’t allow you to play.

“But these games are very open and there are always (usually) more than four goals.

“It's good for the fans.

“We need to protect games like this. For me it is better to draw 2-2 (than play unattractive football).”

Gombau was pleased with the way his charges hauled in the early deficit and made Victory sweat all night.

After Fahid Ben Khalfallah’s early strike, Pablo Sanchez levelled the scores on the cusp of half-time when he soared above towering Victory centre back Matthieu Delpierre.

He nodded the header from a high Sergio Cirio cross on the back of some Melbourne defensive insipidness before McGowan’s second-half headed goal was quickly erased by Thompson.

Adelaide owned significant advantages in total shots (12-4), passes (425-254), passing accuracy (78.4%-62.6%), corners (14-0) and crosses (34-2).

Rightly, Gombau felt his side deserved the three points which would have shaken the monkey off the club’s back.

“I am happy with the football that we put on the park, (but) I am unhappy with the result,” he said.

“We deserved more, to win.

“I can’t say anything (negative) to any player. I thought we did very well.

“We were better than them in everything, just (not) in the result.

“When you have players (opponents) who are high quality, every single small mistake can punish you.”