1. Western Sydney Wanderers (1)
Although they were unable to record an eighth straight victory, the manner in which they fought back to win a point away from home, will feel somewhat like a win. A late Mitch Nichols goal saw the Wanderers avoid defeat, and turned the momentum of the game. It was the Wanderers who looked most like winning the game despite having flown across the country. Tony Popovic used the trip to ring the changes, rotating his squad. The Wanderers were forced to recover from going one-nil down in the opening minutes, and had to scramble late after going behind late in the piece. Their winning streak may be over, but they are still the form side of the competition. Their round 14 fixture with City looks like it cannot be missed.
2. Melbourne City (2)
Melbourne City have continued their golden run with their most important, and probably most enjoyed, win yet. Their 2-1 win over cross-town rivals the Victory has gone a long way to silencing those who see City as bullies. They have absolutely wiped the park with sides at the opposite end of the table, but having beaten the Victory, now have a top scalp to add to their list. In truth they were probably lucky to hold the lead after a Victory dominated second half, but no one can deny them a win they worked so hard for. Thomas Sorenson has proven to be a brilliant signing, frustrating the Victory all night. Mooy and Fornaroli are arguably the form players of the competition right now.
3. Brisbane Roar (4)
Young Petraros saved the Roar’s blushes to a degree, as they made hard work of a game they would have been very confident of winning. Shane Staffanuto almost made it very difficult for side before halftime, committing a foul that should have seen him sent off. Don’t get me wrong, the Roar were the better side, and created more opportunities, but they didn’t have it all their own way. The Roar, at the moment, are the best of the rest, but even they would admit they’re a fair way off producing what the two sides above them have been able to consistently produce.
4. Sydney FC (5)
Sydney FC travelled across the ditch and probably should have come away with three points. They squandered a perfect opportunity from the spot early in the second half, but looked to have pinched it late. A second straight injury time penalty conceded by Faty meant they came away with just the one point. To say this side is missing Marc Janko would be a horrible understatement. They have created plenty of opportunities, but have lacked that class finisher. Alex Brosque may be back this weekend, and it is not a minute too soon.
5. Perth Glory (8)
The Glory capped off a brilliant week with a two-all draw against the competition leaders the Wanderers. This came after a win, earlier in the week, over the champion Victory. Two games in a week is tough and there aren’t many Glory fans who wouldn’t have taken four points this week considering the quality of opposition. They may have slightly aggrieved having conceded a late goal to Mitch Nichols, however they can be happy that they saw off a fast finishing Wanderers side and were able to capture a point. Their win over the Victory shapes as a season defining moment, proving that on their day, they can beat anyone.
5. Adelaide United (6)
Adelaide entered their game against Jets high on confidence after two straight wins. Although they may have expected more, this may shape as a valuable away point. To be honest this was not a great game, and a point doesn’t do a whole lot for either side, but United do extend their unbeaten run to three games. Currusca almost stole it late with a curling free kick, although neither side really deserved to win more than the other. Adelaide, having tasted victory twice in the past fortnight, didn’t seem all that keen to win this game. Perhaps it was more about protecting what you’ve got rather than chasing more.
7. Wellington Phoenix (7)
The Phoenix are hard to sum up this season. One week they’re brilliant, the next they struggle, yet the next they’re brilliant again. The Phoenix will feel that that probably should have been able to see Sydney FC off at home, yet they needed an injury time penalty to draw level. They were also lucky that Glen Moss was able to guess correctly when they conceded a penalty of their own. Sydney were the better side on the day with more possession and more opportunities. 10,000 plus fans probably could be forgiven for expecting more, however this was far from a horror performance.
8. Melbourne Victory (3)
The Victory fall an astonishing five places based on their horror week, which saw them lose twice. They have now lost four games in a row, which would normally land a side at the bottom of the power rankings. Their latest loss will sting more than any before it, as they surrendered to their cross town rivals. Although they had the better of the second half, the ease in which City took the ascendency, and the lead, early on will surely worry Kevin Muscat. It’s unusual to talk about a Victory side in any sort of trouble, but they need a win in a big way, both to stop the rot and also to ensure they don’t lose contact with their high flying neighbours as well as the Wanderers.
9. Newcastle Jets (8)
Newcastle are struggling to score goals right now and it is starting to reach a time where their next win will come from. On a positive note, the Jets haven’t lost a game since their round five loss to the Wanderers, so they’re still gaining points while not playing well. That being said I can’t remember too many sides qualifying for finals football by not winning games. They haven’t been able to score more than a single goal in any of their games since round three. As good as their defence has been, their inability to hit the back of the net is really showing. At least the coaching is easy this week, in theory. They need to find a route to goal. Finding that route to goal is proving difficult.
10. Central Coast Mariners (10)
The Mariners are in all sorts of trouble after their latest poor showing at home to the Roar. Having not won a game since the opening round of the competition, the finals look all but gone for the Central Coasters. They passed up a brilliant opportunity to stop the winless run last week, and they had their chances again this weekend. A brilliant late goal saw the Roar leave with the three points, so on the plus side, the Mariners aren’t laying down. Unfortunately efforts don’t count for much when you’re ten weeks without a win. They almost salvaged a point, but the effort was correctly ruled out.