Melbourne City have the best defence in the A-League
The City train rolled on at AAMI Park with a 1-0 win over the Wellington Phoenix, however it wasn’t Ross McCormack’s goal of the round contender that was the most impressive feat on the night. Despite conceding 60% of the possession and a total of 18 shots, Melbourne City’s stubborn defence kept another clean sheet, maintaining their record of only one goal conceded so far in the campaign. Former Adelaide United goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic has been solid as a rock for his new club, assisted by the consistent work of La Rocca, Schenkeveld, Muscat and Jamieson down back.
Adam Taggart’s return to form is real
After bursting onto the scene early in his career and being signed by Fulham in the English Championship in 2014, Adam Taggart struggled to fulfil his potential, however seems to have found his feet back in the A-League. Appearing twice in the 2014 World Cup for the Socceroos, Taggart clearly has elite talent and is turning his attacking prowess into goals, netting three times and recording an assist across the opening three rounds. Taggart’s form means that the Glory’s reliance on star international duo Diego Castro and Andy Keogh is lessened, giving manager Kenny Lowe a plethora of dangerous options up front. The striker scored a classy finish one-on-one with the keeper to deliver the win in the 85th minute against the Mariners.
Newcastle’s opening fortnight was no fluke
Newcastle’s impressive beginning to season 2017-18 was met with uncertainty around the league after finishing bottom of the table last season, but managed to eradicate some of that uncertainty with a 2-1 away win in Brisbane. Striker Roy O’Donovan found the back of the net yet again with a well-positioned finish at the back post, before Dimitri Petratos rocketed the ball into the top corner from outside the box. The win would have been more comfortable had it not have been for an embarrassingly simple own-goal from defender Nigel Boogard, but with the three points secured, Newcastle sit second on the A-League ladder.
The Sydney Derby atmosphere is electric
This was more of a reminder than something we learned, but what a reminder it was. Arguably the pinnacle of A-League entertainment, the 16th instalment of the Sydney derby did not disappoint on or off the field. The game itself was exciting for even neutral fans, with the Wanderers scoring the opening two goals before Sydney made a spirited comeback to tie the game at 2-2. Off the field, the RBB was rocking up one end, while the Cove dished out as good as they were getting, creating a pulsating atmosphere. All 34,810 fans were on the edge of their seat when Matt Simon’s headed attempt from point-blank range strayed just wide in the dying moments, sealing a deserved draw for both clubs.
Besart Berisha still has a severe case of white-line fever
In a fiery affair at the Adelaide Oval, a major talking point was the undisciplined actions of ultra-combative striker Besart Berisha. With Jordan Elsey nipping at Berisha’s heels all game, the Albanian striker cracked, tussling with the defender on the sideline, before making contact with the fourth official. The contact could result in a ban for the striker at an extremely untimely point for the Victory, who are looking to register their first win of the campaign. In typical Besart Berisha fashion however, his unpredictable actions were accompanied by a flash of brilliance, heading home a Leroy George free kick to give the visitors an early lead.