Melbourne Victory 3 Adelaide United 2: Hosts edge five-goal thriller to go top
All the goals came in the first half of a match that will be remembered for Victory's official 10-year anniversary celebrations and a moving tribute to cricketer Phillip Hughes.
Leigh Broxham's 32nd-minute header ultimately proved the difference as Victory stormed into a 3-1 lead before Marcelo Carrusca reduced the deficit from the penalty spot.
Having inflicted a first defeat of the season on Adelaide, Kevin Muscat's side remain unbeaten, while both teams can count themselves lucky not to have been reduced to 10 men after six players entered the referee's notebook during a game littered with the flashpoints.
Victory were rewarded for dominating the opening stages of the contest in the seventh minute when Nigel Boogaard headed Guilherme Finkler's free-kick past his own goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.
The visitors restored parity seven minutes later. Craig Goodwin broke down the left flank and swept in a cross to the back post where Awer Mabil, who had missed a carbon copy of the same chance minutes earlier, this time made no mistake, getting there ahead of Daniel Georgievski and smashing the ball home.
Adelaide were barely level for two minutes before Finkler glided into the area and squared the ball to the top of the six-yard box. Boogaard's attempted clearance struck team-mate Sergio Cirio and looped over a stranded Galekovic.
Broxham then made it 3-1 just after the half-hour mark. Georgievski collected a clearance from a corner and fed Fahid Ben Khalfallah down the left. The Tunisian's well-weighted cross to the back post fell perfectly for the unmarked Broxham to convert with his head.
Hope of an Adelaide fightback started when they were awarded a penalty. Carrusca's chipped ball forward was collected with his back to goal by Sergio Cirio. Adrian Leijer appeared to bundle the Spanish forward over, referee Kris Griffiths-Jones pointed to the spot and Argentine Carrusca made no mistake with the spot-kick.