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Carlton have given under-fire coach David Teague some relief ahead of the looming review of the AFL club's football department, producing a much-needed 10-point win over Adelaide.
The Blues got off to a slow start at Marvel Stadium on Sunday before flicking a mental switch and taking the game on during a dominant second term to set the platform for a 12.11 (83) to 10.13 (73) victory.
There were some nervous moments in the final quarter when the Crows closed the gap to 10 points, but Carlton hung on in a tense finish to the entertaining contest.
It was a timely result for the Blues, with the widely-publicised external review led by Geoff Walsh, Matthew Pavlich and Graham Lowe set to begin on Monday.
"The fact it's the day before doesn't really make a difference to us but what was important was playing a bit more like us and playing our way," Teague said post-match.
"Our ability to defend, I thought we were more connected today between the three lines, and we saw that period in the second (term) when we got on a roll and got the ball in quickly to our forwards.
"For us, it was about how we played and what we did and I thought there were some great steps forward today."
A delayed flight just hours before the match didn't seem to have a huge effect on Adelaide as they registered the first eight scoring shots.
Six of them were behinds before Darcy Fogarty's two goals set off early alarm bells for the Blues.
But Adam Saad and Zac Williams gave Carlton a lift with their speed, Harry McKay (two goals) threw his weight around and Sam Walsh (38 disposals) racked up touches at will on a wing.
Eddie Betts kicked three goals and the Blues piled on eight majors to three in the second term to burst 34 points clear.
Carlton fans showed their appreciation for Patrick Cripps, who inked a new contract during the week, when they chanted the co-captain's name after his team-lifting goal before halftime.
It was a contentious one, with Cripps running well beyond the allowed 15m without taking a bounce.
Tension spilt over in the third term when Fogarty charged into Jacob Weitering's back, sparking a huge melee.
Adelaide wingman Paul Seedsman kicked two goals from 24 disposals and Taylor Walker could have been a match-winner, kicking 3.4 in an entertaining battle with Weitering.
The Crows dominated the clearances 38-22, with Rory Laird and Ben Keays busy, but lost the inside-50 count (51-54).
"We lost our way in the second quarter - our opponents were too good through that period of time and we weren't able to change the momentum," Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks said.
"It's been a reasonably consistent issue for us throughout this year - our ability to limit damage when the opposition's got their tails up."
Carlton lost Marc Murphy to a calf injury and the Crows fear captain Rory Sloane's season could be over because of a finger tendon injury.