War and Peace (and A-League) – Round 10

Being ‘Star Wars Round’ in the A-League on the weekend the league still has a bit of a ‘prequel’ feel about it at the moment.

 

 

MELBOURNE VICTORY 1 (Millian 56) ADELAIDE UNITED 2 (Diawara 17 Blackwood 72)

 

Victory have again backed up a win that would hopefully get their season moving by taking a step back with a 2-1 loss at home to Adelaide posing more questions than answers. The defence was nowhere for United’s opener on 17 minutes, the Senegalese striker Baba Diawara with a free header.

 

Barbaorouses and Berisha found it hard to have any impact on the game but Victory scraped up an equaliser in the 56th minute when Mark Milligan scored with a lovely half volley and a great cross from Leroy George who is one of the few shining lights for Victory so far this season.

 

1-1 would only last for six minutes though. On 76 minutes the local SA product Nikola Mileusnic cut in past his marker and squared the ball to George Blackwood who scored. When Blackwood is scoring against you you know you have issues. The drama didn’t end there though. In the final 5 minutes of the match two Adelaide players, Adlung and Garuccio were given second yellow cards for needless acts to reduce the Reds to nine men.

 

Victory hardly had a shot in anger as United held on, Paul Izzo a star. The Reds are now fourth and quietly building their season after a bit of a blip for a few weeks but will find it tough without two key players at home next week. Where do you start with Victory though. Listless, bereft of confidence and now questions now being asked of the man who is Melbourne Victory in Kevin Muscat.

 

 

BRISBANE ROAR 0 WELLINGTON PHOENIX 0

 

This game was always going to be the ginger stepchild of the round and delivered with a forgettable 0-0 draw on the Gold Coast. With a crowd far larger than any that were at the stadium to watch Gold Coast United back in the day but that’s where the positives ended. Both sides hardly had a shot but on the plus side Phoenix kept a clean sheet with their leaky defence. That was perhaps because the Roar went with one up front rather than try and test the worst defence in the league. Another John Aloisi coaching masterstroke.

 

Let’s just leave this game here and never talk of it again.

 

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 0 SYDNEY FC 5 (Mierzejewski 14, 45 Brosque 41 Scott 53 OG O’Neill 76)

 

Sydney FC flexed their incredible muscle on Saturday night decimating an out of sorts Wanderers on their own patch in what has to be the most one sided Sydney Derby yet.

 

In front of another big crowd at the apparently not up to standard Olympic Stadium the Sky Blues dominated the first and we ahead on 14 with their Polish star import Mierzejewski scored after a shot from Dave Carney had been parried. Brosque scored near half time and when a very well taken set piece saw Mierzejewski have his second it was all over by half time.

 

Arnold’s team didn’t take the foot off the throat in the second half. Continued pressure saw an own goal to Scott and then Brandon O’Neill, a defensive midfielder, even scored for the champions. Humiliating for Wanderers being taken apart on their own patch while Sydney FC are relentless even without their star man Milos Ninkovic.

 

 

PERTH GLORY 1 (Knowles 20) NEWCASTLE JETS 2 (Koutroumbis 88 Walker 92 OG)

 

Kenny Lowe’s time at Perth Glory has become even more questionable after a last gasp victory to the Newcastle Jets in the Perth. Glory have been quite uninspiring this season and with so many questionable injuries including their three most dangerous players Castro, Keogh and Taggart they were expected to struggle.

 

It was a bit of a surprise when youngster Joey Knowles scored for Glory on 20 minutes, his first goal for the club. Jacob Italiano on the left wing was again a dangerous player for Glory as well as Mitch Nicholls. Luck deserted the home side again though with midfield general Xavi Torres copping an injury and central defender Alex Grant being forced off.

 

This meant that tired players such as Italiano had to stay on and the Jets pounced. With star striker Roy O’Donovan coming back from fitness and subbed on his backward header fell to youngster John Koutroumbis who slotted home with two minutes to go.

 

After holding on with a cobbled together team in the second half this ended Glory’s resolve. With seconds to go a cross from the right was put in to the back of the net by Glory defender Walker in spectacularly amateur style for an own goal. A magnificent win for the Jets while Glory continue to sink without a trace. A second home loss in a row, 5 losses in the last seven games and 6 points out of 21 in those seven games.

 

The Jets continue to chase Sydney.

 

MELBOURNE CITY 1 (McCormack 59) CENTRAL COAST MARINERS 0

 

City showed they weren’t mourning the loss of Tim Cahill with a deserved 1-0 victory at AAMI Park. The owners of the club, City Group, had been in town during the week taking the side of coach over star player resulting in Cahill leaving.

 

City had a host of chances in the first half with Stefan Mauk missing three gettable chances. On the hour the BMI challenged Scot Ross McCormack finally had a goal from open play when Luke Brattan set him to go one on one and finish past the Mariners keeper Ben Kennedy.

 

Teen starlet Nathanial Atkinson made his debut for City and was a star on the wing and will be one to watch. The Mariners weren’t awful but couldn’t find a way to shut down City’s waves off attacks missing Tom Hairej in the middle of the park, the Dutchman a big key to their success.

 

TABLE

Sydney FC                                                   +12       25 pts

Newcastle Jets                                            +11       20 pts

Melbourne City                                          +3        19 pts

Adelaide United                                         –          14 pts

Central Coast Mariners                            -1          12 pts

Brisbane Roar                                           -2           10 pts

Melbourne Victory                                    -3         10 pts

Perth Glory                                                 -6         10 pts

Western Sydney Wanderers                   -8           8 pts

Wellington Phoenix                                 -6            6 pts

 

 

SACRED COW OF THE ROUND-Sydney FC

 

Love or (probably) hate Graham Arnold and his team you have to admire the way they rip open teams with little mercy. The 5-0 hammering of Wanderers shows that they are clearly again the team to beat this season and are top of the league by 5 points a third of the way through the season without actually playing as well as they did last season with the exception of last Saturday night.

 

The one chink in the armor of the team may well be in February when the Asian Champions League starts and they will be dealing with two games a week.

 

ARSE CLOWN OF THE ROUND-Kenny Lowe

 

The Peter Garrett of the A-League is a decent guy but his grip on reality whilst trying to hold on to his job is becoming very loose.

 

Following their last minute heartbreak at home to the Jets and with many fans demanding a change at Glory he tweeted about the Jets equaliser being offside and why wasn’t VAR used. The trouble is there was nothing wrong with the goal and he was clutching at straws. Having been the longest serving coach for Glory in their 20+ year history another repeat of last season may have fans not coming back.

 

TOTAL GOALS FOR THE ROUND-12 (Season Total 129. Av 2.63 goals per game)

 

WHAT TO LOOK FORWARD TO NEXT WEEK-United go home with a rare win at Etihad under their belts but with some suspensions hitting hard it’ll be a tough ask against the Jets on Saturday.

 

City will face a hard test away to Sydney FC but they do want to show they’re a contender.

 

 

 

 

About Dennis Gedling

RTR FM Presenter. Glory Guerrillas Producer and Co-Host. Contributer to Football Nation Radio and Football West. Worships at the feet of the mighty Cats, Socceroos, Matildas, West Perth, Glory and Glasgow's Green and White most of the time.

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