1. Western Sydney Wanderers (1)
Wanderer’s fans were able to celebrate Christmas in style after their side’s 2-0 victory over the Jets. Goals to Alberto and Mark Bridge, who scored in his fifth straight fixture, were enough to wrap up the three points. 22 shots to 9 highlights the home side’s dominance on the night. Mitch Nichols has made a mockery of those few Wanderers fans who rubbished his signing, and had yet another great game. Castelen has been the other Wanderer to star this season and again looked dangerous out wide. Eight wins in nine games has them sitting top of the table at the end of the year.
2. Brisbane Roar (3)
Brisbane were able to defeat the recently free flowing and high scoring Melbourne City, and in the process have jumped them in our rankings, and on the table. Kisnorbo turned the ball into his own net giving the Roar a well-deserved lead, before a brilliant pass from Petratos allowed the home side to double their lead through Borrello. Despite conceding a second half goal, the Roar probably should have iced the game earlier than they did, through a 90th minute Henrique goal. The Roar now sit second with seven wins from 12, capping off a brilliant start to the season under John Aloisi.
3. Melbourne City (2)
City’s brilliant run of form has come to a shuddering end via a 3-1 defeat away to fellow high flyers the Brisbane Roar. They played their part in a brilliant attacking game but were outclassed in the final third for the first time in many weeks. Their usual attacking weapons were slightly blunted, while Kisnorbo and Sorenson would be left thinking they may have done better with the opening two goals. Following an indifferent start to the season, City have been on an absolute tear as of late tearing apart the likes of the Jets and Mariners before defeating their cross-city rivals. Their 30 goals is 10 more than either sides above them. They can be happy with where they sit at the turn of the year.
4. Sydney FC (4)
Sydney ended a frustrating run of draws with a 4-1 victory over the Mariners. Two goals to the returning Alex Brosque had his side flying high early, before a third goal to Tavares seemed to end the game as a contest. Brosque went off injured which severely blunted the FC attack but at three goals, and a player up, fans would have been extremely confident of victory. The Mariners did manage to pull back a goal before halftime and fought hard in the second half, but were a distant second. Sydney FC certainly haven’t hit the heights of last season but are just two wins off the top. They need to find a regular route to goal if they’re going to trouble the top three sides.
5. Adelaide United (6)
Adelaide are now four games unbeaten, with two wins and two draws. Their latest win, a 3-0 victory over the Phoenix was arguably their best win of the season. 17 shots, including eight on target highlights the success they had going forward, but it was brilliant 55th minute Dylan McGowan clearance that turned the game. It looked for all money that the travelling Phoenix would level the score before the last gasp desperation. That seemed to kill the Phoenix off in an attacking sense, allowing Adelaide to score two goals within a few minutes through Goodwin and Marrone. Despite some recent good form, Adelaide sit seventh. They are three wins, four draws and five losses. That perfectly sums up their season to date, inconsistent.
6. Perth Glory (5)
The Glory will be very happy with a point away from home, in front of a loud AAMI Stadium crowd. They will consider themselves VERY unlucky to be a goal behind after Besart Berisha’s theatrics inside the box after almost zero contact from Ante Covic. Despite plenty of opportunities it took a penalty to open their account. They could have stolen the game late but a draw was probably a fair result. The Glory wouldn’t be overly happy with their season to date, despite their recent run of improved form. They have, however, shown enough in the past month or so to indicate they will likely be fighting for a spot in the finals.
7. Melbourne Victory (8)
The Victory ended their run of losses with a one-all draw at home to the travelling Glory, however this was not a Victory-like performance. They were extremely lucky to be awarded a penalty after Berisha went down with minimal to zero contact. That being said, they had their chances to grab a later winner in a frantic final 15 minutes. The Victory are winless in five games for the first time in the competition’s history. Despite a horror run of form over the past month, the defending A-League champions sit in fifth position, more than a win inside the top six. They started extremely well, have fallen into a hole of sorts, but have more than enough talent to play their way out of it.
8. Wellington Phoenix (7)
The Phoenix were a brilliant clearance away from being well on their way against Adelaide. Roy Krishna’s shot looked destined to cross the line, however when it was cleared, the Phoenix seemed to lose their way. Two goals in two minutes later and the Phoenix were left to wonder what could have been. The Wellington side have produced some brilliant football thus far this season, however have produced some games they will not want to remember. Sitting in sixth is about right, however they will need to ensure there are more good games than bad in the run in to the finals.
9. Newcastle Jets (9)
The Jets end their 2015 on the wrong end of a dominant Wanderers performance. Although the Jets managed to play their part in proceedings, they never looked like coming away with more than a few shots on goal. They are now eight games without a win and would be bottom of the form table in any other season. Only the Glory and Mariners, who have had nightmare starts to the season are below them on the table. Although they’re technically only a win outside the top six, which is down to other teams trading results more than their good form. The Jets have only scored nine goals all season. They need to find a way to fix that, and quickly.
10. Central Coast Mariners (10)
I’ve said for weeks that I hate writing teams off, but this Mariners team is almost no chance to play finals football this season. In fact it’s hard to see where their next point comes from, let alone their next win. They were brave and had their moments against Sydney FC, but the fact is they conceded four goals to a side who have had extreme problems in front of goal as of late. I don’t know what the answer is, and it doesn’t look like the Mariners staff know either. They haven’t won since the opening round of the season, and have only secured two draws. Nine losses and 28 goals conceded makes awful reading for fans of the Mariners.