1. Melbourne Victory (2)
Melbourne take over the top spot following their 2-1 victory over the Mariners. Encouragingly they were able to win without their marquee man Besart Berisha. Gui Finkler’s two early goals were enough to wrap up the three points, despite a late fightback from the travelling Mariners. There is plenty to like about this Victory side, who look in great shape to defend their title. It’s still early, but I don’t see too many weaknesses in their efforts in the opening two months.
2. Brisbane Roar (1)
The Roar drop a ranking spot mainly due to the Victory’s brilliance rather than their efforts. Given they were at home against an inconsistent City side, the Roar may have expected better than a point, however on the night, a point was probably fair. Worryingly the Roar lost almost 85% of duels in the air. If they allow that stat to continue they may pay a price. On the night the Roar had plenty of possession and put together plenty of passes. They, like the Victory, have been outstanding in the opening rounds.
3. Western Sydney Wanderers (4)
The Wanderers are the form team of the last month, having put together four straight victories. If not for there early season struggles they’d be on top of both the table and the rankings. Mark Bridge’s late winner delivered a well-deserved three points after the Wanderers dominated every important stat. The Wanderers midfield is firing, while marquee man Piovaccari is finding the back of the net. This was an entertaining game full of attack. The Wanderers new found attacking flair has served them well.
4. Sydney FC (3)
Sydney remain in the top four of the rankings more through other results working in their favour more than their own form. Their efforts against the Glory were dour, although the forty degree heat had a definite hand in that. They’ve only scored two goals in the past three weeks, including two nil-all draws. To be honest it’s hard to expect too much from either side given the conditions but Sydney played as though they were more worried about the air conditioned plane trip home than the game. Can’t say I blame them.
5. Melbourne City (6)
Melbourne City continue their indifferent form. Wins, losses, draws, unfortunately for fans there has been no consistency. That being said, this was a good point to win after they held their own against the high flying Roar. They were able to create 12 chances, more than the home side, which is a big positive. A surprising stat was that City won almost 85% of duels in the air. If this side can click and put together some consistent performances, they could trouble any side on any day.
6. Wellington Phoenix (5)
The Phoenix, although outplayed, were right in their game against the Wanderers until a late Mark Bridge winner. They created plenty and had their fair share of possession, but they did allow far too many crosses (19). On another day they could have snatched a win, or they could have conceded a third and fourth. Muscat’s 18th minute goal was well taken, especially considering his usual position on the field. Much like City, they are struggling for consistency, but are playing some very entertaining football.
7. Newcastle Jets (7)
Newcastle can count themselves extremely lucky to come away with anything from their trip to Adelaide. They did not manage a single shot in the entire game, which makes it very, very difficult to score. They did manage to send in 13 crosses and earn two corners, but that simply isn’t good enough, especially against the winless United. They were forced to clear 25 games, and forced Adelaide to only clear twice. Not an attacking masterpiece by any stretch, but they earned one of the points they lost in last week’s robbery by the Mariners.
8. Central Coast Mariners (8)
Matt Sim’s late goal gave the Mariners hope of a very unlikely point. The Mariners showed no intimidation while on the league’s most daunting away trip. They managed 13 shots and whipped in 30 crosses, so it’s not as though they parked the bus by any stretch. If a very credible penalty shout had been given, who knows how this game would have ended up. The Mariners did concede two early goals and were forced to fight back, which against the Victory is a dangerous game to play.
9. Perth Glory (9)
The Glory, much like Sydney FC, struggled in shocking conditions. That being said, they offered almost nothing in a game they needed to win. They were good defensively and never looked in any sustained trouble, but going forward they couldn’t get it done. Once again, the weather played a huge part in the way the game was played, but they should have handled the local conditions better than the long travelling Sydney FC.
10. Adelaide United (10)
Adelaide should have ended their winless start to the season. They managed to completely shut down the Newcastle attack, allowing zero shots. They managed 11 of their own but could not trouble the scorers. Craig Goodwin’s hesitancy to shoot in front of goals sums up his side’s start to the season. Confidence is down in the city of churches and they need to find a win from somewhere. They played well without setting the competition alight, which is a start. Two points lost.