The Reds returned to the winners list in Carlos Salvachua's first game in charge of the Victory after former United boss Marco Kurz was removed midweek.

United coach Gertjan Verbeek applauded the result and his team's reaction after a scathing assessment last week.

"Not only the win, but the way we get the three points," he said.

"We played from the first minute to the last minute as a team.

"The first half we had complete control of the game, I think very aggressive, high pressure, high tempo."

Salvachua acknowledged the Reds were superior in the first half but saw plenty of positives after the break.

"We are not happy with the result of course and the performance in the first half was not good enough," he said.

"For me we have to fix some things and the idea is to play like we did in the second half."

It was Ben Halloran's 32nd minute goal that was the difference after a jittery start from both sides with Adelaide mostly in control of the opening stages but Victory were awarded a penalty on nine minutes.

Referee Adam Kersey pointed to the spot after Robbie Kruse's cross was judged to have struck the arm of Jordan Elsey.

VAR called Kersey over to consult the reply before he overturned his decision.

A scrappy contest ensued before Kruse and Elsey were involved in claims for a second Victory penalty on 23 minutes when the pair tangled inside the area.

Kersey waved play on and VAR agreed, much to the dismay of Kruse.

After controlling the majority of the first half, Halloran broke the deadlock.

Kristian Opseth was involved, teeing up Riley McGree whose powerful shot from a tight angle could only be parried across the goal line by Lawrence Thomas.

Adama Traore attempted to clear before Halloran bundled the ball into the back of the net.

Victory almost drew level minutes later, with Andrew Nabbout fed by Jakob Poulsen, but his shot from the edge of the area went inches wide.

The visitors were much improved after the break and enjoyed a period of sustained pressure, forcing Reds keeper Paul Izzo into a number of saves.

Elvis Kamsoba was first on 55 minutes, before both Andrew Nabbout and Traore also had attempts saved almost immediately after.

Nabbout should have equalised on 70 minutes when Kamsoba capitalised on an error in midfield from the Reds and squared a perfect ball for his team-mate.

But the Victory no. 9 skied the ball over the cross bar with just Izzo to beat.

Nabbout had another chance to draw level with the last kick of the game after he was put through by Kruse.