1. Western Sydney Wanderers (1)
The Wanderers are riding high on the back of an amazing sixth straight victory. Considering the start to the season by Tony Popovic’s men, I doubt many would have had the Wanderers sitting atop the table after week nine. A stunning goal to Mitch Nichols wrapped up the points in front of an appreciative, yet small, home crowd. Hopefully the off-field issues are settled as the table-topping Wanderers can host the Victory in front of a full house next week. This is arguably the best the Wanderers have ever played. Not only are they winning but they’re doing so in entertaining style.
2. Melbourne Victory (2)
A 2-nil loss in Auckland proved that the Victory are human. Seemingly unbeatable, the Victory were handsomely outplayed by their hosts. Some will point to an uneven pitch but the Victory simply had a bad day. A much improved second half could not produce the opportunities needed to pin back two classy goals from the home side. If a disallowed goal had been allowed to stand, the result may have been different, but despite playing with 60% possession they were certainly second best on this occasion.
3. Melbourne City (4)
For the second week in a row City netted five times, sending a message to the rest of the league in the process. Although neither the Mariners nor the Glory are threatening form that indicates they’re going to threaten for the title, City made them look like amateurs. This was total, and entertaining, domination at its finest. 23 shots, nine on target, and almost 80% passing accuracy highlights the attacking flair in City’s game right now. Make no mistake, Aaron Mooy was amazing, but this is no one man side. Newcastle’s defensive outfit can prepare for a busy night this weekend.
4. Brisbane Roar (3)
The Roar fell to a brilliant, late strike, away to the high flying Wanderers, hardly a bad day at the office. That being said, they weren’t able to produce their attacking best and truly take it to the Wanderers. On another day they may have held on for a point, or even snatched a late winner, but it was not to be. 10 shots and only seven clearances outlines the part Brisbane played in this match. They were able to whip in 22 crosses, however most were not of a quality expected at this level.
5. Sydney FC (5)
A well taken goal by Captain Alex Brosque ended a run of boring, goalless draws for the sky blue of Sydney FC. This was a far improved effort by FC and on another night they would have had the game iced a lot earlier. Marquee man Filip Holosko should have wrapped up the match ball before the break but his inability to finish is frustrating those in the stands greatly. A mixture of brilliant form by the Newcastle keeper, and the inability to hit the target from two metres meant he was unable to get his name on the scoresheet. Sydney look ready to break the shackles.
6. Wellington Phoenix (6)
45 minutes of amazing football saw the Phoenix bank a valuable three points in Auckland. Krishna’s 18th minute goal from a near impossible angle but the ‘home’ team ahead, before a brilliantly worked goal to Bonevacia doubled the lead. Two-nil was well deserved, although it could have been more such was the brilliance of the Phoenix. Although the Victory were the better side in the second half, the first half attacking display was enough to wrap up the game in difficult conditions.
7. Adelaide United (10)
Adelaide, following their first win of the season, are this week’s big movers based on the face they have a win in the past five weeks. A third minute strike by Pablo Sanchez was enough to finally end the home side’s winless start to the season. If not for Ante Covic’s brilliance in goal for the Glory the margin could have been much wider. 60% possession and 21 chances highlights just what this side is capable of, despite their slow start to the season. This was a scrappy victory yet one they needed.
8. Newcastle Jets (7)
The Jets have Mark Birighitti to thank for only conceding one goal at Allianz. Sydney should have had this game wrapped up and the points banked in the first half, and would have if not for the brilliant custodian. The Jets created an opportunity early in the second half, and had they have taken it, may have escaped with a result, but it was not to be. The Jets are fun to watch when they’re on, but their ‘on’ games are too few and far between. They have shown enough going forward to indicate a form reversal is around the corner.
9. Central Coast Mariners (8)
The Mariners were reduced to nothing more than spectators on Thursday Night at the hands of a rampant Melbourne City side. Truthfully, there was very little to like about the Mariners other than the fact they were able to net a conciliation goal. I hate to hammer it home, but this side is absolutely nothing like the side who opened the season on the Central coast. They look bereft of confidence and have little ideas going forward. They have a huge opportunity this weekend when they travel to Perth.
10. Perth Glory (9)
The Glory now sit bottom of the table and look as though the FFA Cup final may have been their season highlight. They had it all to play for on Sunday evening against the winless Adelaide United, yet failed to reach any great heights. They did manage to create 11 chances but gave up 21, and only had 40% possession. The fact that Ante Covic has been the Glory’s best player says it all about their season. He kept them in this game late in the first half, which should have driven his side on. Unfortunately it did not.