The big five answers | Round 3

We answer the big questions that round three threw up and consider some talking points from each match.

We answer the big questions that round three threw up and consider some talking points from each match.

1. Can Victory bounce back

It wasn-t pretty but they did it. Perhaps it was more a case of desire for Ange Postecoglou-s side and that was enough to carry them past Adelaide United, who can consider themselves somewhat unlucky not to come away from Etihad with at least a point.

But after two defeats to open the season, this game was always about Victory. There are signs that Postecoglou-s plans are having an effect; they moved the ball well at times, probably most effectively in the final third, where the skillful trio of Thompson, Flores and Rojas look to have some potency.

But the issues for Melbourne lie further back. The gaping hole in their midfield still hasn-t been filled since last season and the jury is out on Guilherme Finkler. Given Postecoglou-s past record in picking players, there-s hope he-ll adjust in time but currently, he-s not the presence Victory need in the middle of the park.

Mark Milligan-s return provided some strength sitting in front of the back four and his terrific header put his team back in the game but there still appears to be some confusion in Victory-s backline and they are getting exposed on the flanks too often - which should mean Friday-s game away to Newcastle should present a serious challenge. That said, a win is a win, and confidence and points on the board will do them the world of good.

2. Can the Jets keep it up? Did the Jets get the win? Yes. Did they keep up the good form? No.

While the Jets got the all-important three points, they were outplayed by the Mariners and both Gary van Egmond and Graham Arnold said as much post-match.

While they didn-t necessarily deserve to win; they did, but aside from a sterling performance from James Virgili and the continued presence of Emile Heskey in the forward third, there was little to be excited about, with Newcastle basically hacking the ball up the field to a tired and visibly frustrated Heskey every time they were in defence,.

In stark contrast the Mariners looked like a real threat every time they went forward, especially through Tom Rogic, the combination of McBreen and Rogic or McBreen and Ibini promises a lot

3. Who wants it more? Who did want it more? It-s still a valid question even though Sydney won. Certainly the fans wanted it, the atmosphere inside Parramatta Stadium was as electric as the reaction Dwayne ‘The Rock- Johnson elicits when he infrequently enters a WWE arena.

Certainly what we learned early on was that Fabio wanted to win the derby, because he was playing like a man possessed and Labinot Haliti has more than likely got the bruises to prove it.

We also learned Aaron Mooy wanted it, he was brilliant for the Wanderers and led them into attack from a position on the park that was often too deep, but his effort was tireless and faultess until he fouled Alessandro Del Piero, who also ‘wanted it- and delivered with a great run into the box and the only goal of the match.

We also learned that the Wanderers have now gone 270 minutes without a goal and that Dino Kresinger though he workd hard might not be the greatest marksman. Tony Popovic may be forced to look at Tahj Minniecon or Kwabena Appiah sooner rather than later.

4. Is there more to Glory than muscle? Yes there is. The Glory did indeed outmuscle the Heart and gave away their share of hard fouls but they also showed they have the appropriate skill to go with their physical dominance.

Liam Miller proved that through the midfield and their wide players, particularly wingbacks Josh Risdon and Scott Jamieson showed just how dangerous they can be with a little bit of room to move on the flanks, delivering dangerous crosses regularly to the likes of Billy Mehmet and Dean Heffernan.

As for the heart they suffered as they usually do once Fred left the field and Michael Marrone had a game to forget, his mistake at the back that allowed Heffernan to score was an utter shocker, things won-t get much easier for them when they take on Central Coast next round.

5. Can the Nix stop the flow? The Phoenix not only stopped the flow, they almost caused a drought for the Roar. Aggressive, hard and in their faces, Wellington never let up when they didn-t have the ball and when they did they created plenty of chances themselves.

Paul Ifill, Leo Bertos and Louis Fenton all stamped themselves all over a first half where the Phoenix dominated the Roar, surging down the wide areas before crossing into the middle with pace and Fenton-s flick backheel towards a wating Stein Huysegems was all class, unfortunately he had already received the free kick.

Only a serious defensive lapse from the Nix allowed Besart Berisha to level things for the Roar and while both teams said they were happy with a point, the Phoenix probably should have got more from the game.

After three rounds Wellington remain the only undefeated side and they haven-t had an easy run, it-s been a good performance thus far that says a lot about the players and manager Ricki Herbert.