A chilly Adelaide night greeted both sides for mid-week football, in a match that would see the winner move to outright second on the A-League ladder.
The Reds started fast, pressing high and hard into the Bulls defensive line, at one stage dominating field possession with 95% of the ball.
The Bulls defused several attacking raids from Adelaide in the opening 10 minutes, however in the 13th minute the pressure became too much for Macarthur to handle.
A dangerous cross from Craig Goodwin found Tomi Juric to open the scoring for the home side.
A calf injury to centre-back Aleksandar Jovanovic forced Milicic’s men into a reshuffle at the back, and it wasn’t long until the Bulls would pounce of a misguided ball from the Reds.
Crafty young midfielder Jake Hollman picked up the crumbs and pressed deep into the Reds defensive third, before delivering the ball on a silver platter for Matt Derbyshire to net his 11th goal of the campaign on his 35th birthday.
It would be all square at half time 1-1.
At the resumption of play, the Bulls created the better of the chances with Beñat's 52nd minute strike, loading up a shot from the edge of the box, only to push it just wide.
With both teams looking for the break, it would be Adelaide taking the lead through a Craig Goodwin penalty kick, after being bought down in the box by Lachie Rose.
15 minutes later, the Reds again capitalised on a Macarthur mistake while trying to play from the back and Ben Halloran finished an extremely fortuitous flick on to seal the three points for the home side.
Macarthur FC Head Coach Ante Milicic said at full time:
“We got beaten by a better side on the night.”
“We couldn’t deal with their mobility and forward runs, our passing game let us down and, in the end, congratulations to Adelaide.”
“We started slowly in the first half and in the second half we got pinned back and couldn’t get out of the back third.”
“At times and in patches we play decent football, but we need to do that for longer periods of time. Now we just have to focus on the next game at home on Sunday.” Milicic said.
The Bulls now have a short turnaround, taking on Newcastle Jets at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday, kick-off 6:10pm.