Melb Derby 2015

1. Sydney FC (4)

Shane Smeltz’s stoppage time cracker was enough to wrap up three more derby points and rocket the sky blues to the top of the power rankings. Despite missing their main man and Captain Alex Brosque, Sydney FC have found a way to win. They now have three huge wins in five games, which puts them just one point off the top of the ladder. The scary thing is you feel like there is plenty of improvement in this side, who despite not setting the world on fire, have made a habit of winning. Graham Arnold has instilled a belief in this side that has made them very, VERY difficult to beat. Matt Jurman was a monster in defence. Sydney FC now hold a mental edge over the Wanderers.

2. Brisbane Roar (1)

Brisbane’s loss on Friday night ended their six match unbeaten run, and shouldn’t worry too many. That being said, the way that a rejuvenated Melbourne Victory wiped them off the park will surely have John Aloisi scratching his head. The table-topping Roar had no answers for a rampant Victory, who were two goals up inside the opening ten minutes. Stats often tell an accurate tale, however Brisbane’s 60% of possession in no way shows how this game played out. The Victory used their share of the ball far more dangerously and created five more shots. That the Roar had 16 crosses yet only one shot on target makes for horror reading. They host Adelaide this Friday night and will want to rid their memories of this effort in Melbourne quickly and return to the form that has them flying high.

3. Melbourne City (3)

Melbourne City will probably be a little unhappy having come away from their trip to Perth with just a point. Twice they led only to see the Glory fight back and equalise. Add to that the fact the Glory were reduced to ten men with plenty of time to make the man advantage count and the City payers may feel as though they missed a golden opportunity here. The main characters were there again for City as Paartalu, Mooy and Fornaroli all had a big impact. If not for Marc Warren’s late clearance, they would have boarded the long flight with all three points in their possession. The Glory were by no means reduced to spectators, but City should have won. City were wasteful, with only three shots on target from 18.

4. Adelaide United (5)

Although it took until the final ten minutes for Adelaide to secure the points, they were well worth the victory at home. After missing a penalty and encountering a rock solid Alastair Bray, Adelaide amazingly could have gone in at halftime behind after the Mariners earned a last minute penalty. The scare seemed to motivate the home side who came out and continued their dominance in the second half. Craig Goodwin’s goal was cancelled out just seven minutes later, but late goals from Sanchez and Dugandzic parcelled up a well-deserved win for the inform Adelaide. After a slow start Adelaide are now creating plenty of chances, with 18 chances created in Saturday’s game.

5. Western Sydney Wanderers (2)

The Wanderers have fallen away over the past month, suffering their second loss in a row against their cross-town rivals on Saturday night. Fans of the former table topping red and black would be scratching their heads at what has gone wrong. For the second straight week, a late winner was scored against them, despite having more than enough chances to bury the game earlier. A brilliant goal from Dario Vidosic looked to have earned the Wanderers a point before a breathtaking strike from Shane Smeltz continued FC’s dominance over the home side. A lesson has to be learned from this loss; don’t take your chances, pay the price. They certainly paid the price.

6. Melbourne Victory (7)

The Victory have responded to those who counted them out following their horrible run of form in the form of champions. Their four-nil win over the league leading Brisbane Roar send a message that the Victory have plenty of fight left in them yet. They shot out of the blocks with a goal in the fourth minute, and had a second right on ten minutes. From there it never looked like Brisbane had the ability to fight back. A third goal before half time iced the game, before Berisha netted a devastating fourth. That makes for good reading for any fan of the Victory, yet will have opposition fans gritting their teeth with worry. Four goals, and a mountain of attacking chances off just 40% possession.

7. Central Coast Mariners (6)

The Mainers were brought back to Earth so to speak by a brilliant Adelaide side on Saturday afternoon. As mentioned before, the pitch was hardly ideal, but the Mariners can’t blame the less than picturesque Hindmarsh Stadium for missing from the penalty spot. Had they converted their chance from the spot, after surviving a penalty from Adelaide, the result could have been far different. Truth be told they had Alastair Bray to thank for being level at half time as the keeper was able to pull off a string of amazing saves. At one-all with ten minutes to go, it was Adelaide who were able to break the shackles and net twice to earn a deserved win.

8. Perth Glory (8)

The Glory will be extremely pleased with the result on Saturday night after holding on with ten men to deny high scoring Melbourne City. Marc Warren’s late goal line clearance despite coming off earlier to be strapped up showed the desperation on the night and showed why the Glory came away with what they did. Diego Crastro’s stoppage time free kick in the first half will feature on plenty of highlight reels and ensured the home side would enter the break on even terms. Mooy’s early second half goal looked like it might open the floodgates but Chris Harold’s 60th minute finish ended up securing a point. Incredibly Perth are undefeated at home against Melbourne City.

9. Newcastle Jets (10)

Newcastle have a goal. Three of them in fact, which despite a frantic finish, proved more than enough to earn a much needed victory over the travelling Phoenix. The goal drought was broken from the penalty spot inside the first ten minutes when Milos Trifunovic made no mistake from 12 yard. It will surprise no one that David Carney, Newcastle’s best outfield player all season, was the star on the day. His shot in the 26th minute was parried into the path of Ryan Kitto who doubled the home side’s lead, before Carney himself looked to have ended the competition with 25 minutes to go. Although the Phoenix did finish fast as the ten men of Newcastle tired, they had done enough.

10. Wellington Phoenix (9)

The Phoenix will not be overly happy with their latest trip, after conceding three goals to a team who have not scored in six games. Matthew Ridenton’s 81st minute goal, combined with a tiring ten man Newcastle side ensured a frantic finish, however Newcastle took their chances. For a side to have almost 70% possession and register 20 shots, Wellington may feel aggrieved to not end their own winless run, but they were not good enough in the final third. The squad is suffering from a large number of injuries but Ernie Merrick’s men need to find a way to put some wins together or their finals aspirations will soon be over.