1. Sydney FC (last week - 3)
Truth be told, Sydney FC were again well below their best, yet again escaped with three points from a game they were outplayed in. Ask any fan which is more important, three points or a good performance and you have the reason Sydney FC top the rankings right now. As they had done a week earlier, FC snatched the win in the final moments, this time through a brilliant finish from Milos Ninkovic, breaking the hearts of the Wanderers and their fans. A sign of a good team is finding a way to win despite not playing at your best. Right now Sydney FC have turned in three decent performances, for two wins and a draw. Good signs.
2. Brisbane Roar (2)
Has the bubble burst? Short answer, no. Although Brisbane Roar’s 2015-16 winning streak was broken, it’s hardly doom and gloom in the sunshine state. Although they failed to stay undefeated, they had 61% of possession, away from home, and on another day could have come away with at least a point. Brisbane’s attack is looking pretty fluid considering they’re only three games into the season proper, and if not for a few defensive errors, they could have joined Sydney FC as undefeated. The Roar have started the season well, and will be confident in hosting Adelaide this weekend.
3. Wellington Phoenix (8)
It has been a terrible week off-field for the Phoenix, but it will not be revisited here, as on field the Phoenix registered a brilliant 3-2 win over the previously undefeated Roar. If the players had any idea of what was to come, they certainly didn’t show it, as they played their part in arguably the game of the round. Powell’s 78th minute winner delivered a deserved three points for the home side, despite having just 39% possession. The Phoenix have, in the past, created plenty of opportunities but have failed to score. This week they scored three times in eight shots. If they can keep that strike rate up, the future may not be so dark after all, at least in the short term.
4. Newcastle Jets (6)
The Jets now have two wins from three games, which I’m sure any fan of the side would have taken if offered. Friday Night’s win over the defending champions is a huge one, both in terms of three points, and confidence so early in the season. David Carney is arguably the player of the competition across three rounds but the Newcastle defenders were the heroes on the night. The league’s top striker was barely spotted all game despite the away side having over 60% of possession. That being said, the Jets only had 67% pass accuracy and only three of their 12 shots were on target. They need to lift both of those stats as its unlikely Carney can keep providing moments of brilliance.
5. Melbourne Victory (2)
What a difference a week can make. From the high flying moments of their late derby win, to the depths of a frustrating loss at the hands of the Jets. The Victory played plenty of football, and had plenty of ball, but they just couldn’t take their chances. Berisha was kept quiet, which is worrying that the Victory couldn’t create without their main man performing. The fact they produced 29 crosses and had over 60% of the ball, without a goal, isn’t an encouraging stat. They have just qualified for the FFA Cup final, so they’ll return to A-League action on the back of a win.
6. Melbourne City (7)
City’s 3-1 win over the Mariners delivered their first win of the season. They now sit one win, one draw, and one loss from three games, which is probably spot on in terms of what they’ve earned. City fans will hope that Sunday’s victory will kick start their season as they seemed to have improved game on game. Aaron Mooy has continued his brilliant start to the season. To be frank, I’m not sure how long it will be before a move to a much, much larger club is on the books. Striker Bruno Fornaroli added two more goals to his impressive start to the season also. City are starting to click.
7. Central Coast Mariners (4)
It seems like an eternity ago that the Mariners were flying high after their 3-1 opening round win. Two straight losses sees them looking for answers, and has fans wondering if round one was an exception rather than, as they had hoped, the rule. Despite only registering three shots on target, they were not massively outplayed by City. They managed 17 shots, and you have to assume the accuracy will come. The Mariners return home, which is where they dismantled the Glory in round one, and fans will hope their troubles on their travels will remain only that.
8. Perth Glory (10)
Despite qualifying for the FFA Cup final, the Glory’s start to the season probably has not matched the hopes of their fans. They went a long way to correcting the bad start with an impressive 3-1 home win over Adelaide. Four shots on target is not an exciting stat, but only allowing one shot on goal certainly is. What will worry Glory officials is the fact they, at home, only had 31% of possession. Despite the result, it’s tough to win the game without the ball, so they’ll need to turn that stat around. The Glory face a desperate Wanderers side this weekend and have a great chance to record a second straight win.
9. Adelaide United (8)
It’s incredibly strange for a side to register almost 70% of possession away from home. It’s incredibly disappointing for a side to register such a stat, yet lose. One shot on goal is quite frankly not good enough. They also have up a whopping 30 interceptions meaning their time with the ball didn’t mean much, as every time they had it they kept turning it over. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what is wrong right now with Adelaide, who remain winless, but they really need to sort it out and soon. A trip to Brisbane awaits them.
10. Western Sydney Wanderers (9)
The Wanderers produced their best performance of the season, and should have won their first derby in over a year, but remain bottom of the table after failing to take their chances. An injury to Castelen blunted the Wanderers attack, after the Dutchman dominated the early stages. They only gave up one shot on target all game. Unfortunately for them, it was the shot that saw three points slip from their grasp. Dario Vidosic needs to find his feet and provide some spark in attack while Piovaccari needs to hit the back of the net. This Sunday they host the Glory in what is already shaping up as a must win.