In our weekly review we cast our eye over some interesting statistics and identify where teams are excelling following round three of the Hyundai A-League.
Melbourne Victory 1 - 0 Brisbane Roar
Melbourne Victory sent coach Ange Postecoglou out a winner when they edged the new Socceroos coach's other former team Brisbane Roar. The Victory had failed to win any of their last eight matches against the Roar but a goal from James Troisi proved decisive against the competition leaders. Despite their recent poor form against the Queensland side, the blue and white have had more wins against Brisbane that any other side in the league. The Roar dominated possession at Etihad Stadium, with nearly 60% of the ball but the Victory boys managed more shots on target, including the all-important goal to take all three points. Brisbane Roar coach Mike Mulvey will nonetheless be pleased with the defensive effort, with his side-s tackle efficiency winning out in all but one challenge.
Central Coast Mariners 1 - 0 Adelaide United
Central Coast Mariners stretched their remarkable winning streak against Adelaide United to nine games in front of their home fans. Nick Fitzgerald got his name on the scoresheet inside 90 seconds and the score remained unchanged despite several chances being created throughout the contest. The Mariners managed more than twice the amount of shots on goal than their opponents, with the Reds unable to muster one on target. Like the round four opener, the Mariners managed to win despite seeing less of the ball. Adelaide had a huge 66.2% of possession which is indicative of the style Josep Gombau has said we will see from the Reds this season but they will need to improve their finishing in the final third in weeks to come.
Sydney FC 0 - 2 Western Sydney Wanders
Western Sydney Wanderers took bragging rights in the Sydney derby with a comfortable win in front of a record crowd at Allianz Stadium. Sydney had won seven of their last eight A-League home games, drawing the other but had no answer to some Shinji Ono magic. Shots on goal proved hard to come by in this one, with both teams strong defensively. Sydney FC continued the round's trend of dominating possession but failing to find the back of the net. The Sky Blues had 60% of the ball but failed to find a clinical finish. The Wanderers fans have proven to be good travellers in supporting their team and they-ve been treated to some excellent form on the road with the red and black now having won nine and drawn two of their last 11 away games.
Wellington Phoenix 0 - 0 Newcastle Jets
Newcastle Jets went into this clash having won just one of their last eight A-League games against Wellington, although this did come in the last meeting of the two sides. The Jets continue to miss the presence of their marquee striker Emile Heskey as they-re the only side in the competition yet to register a goal so far this season. Gary van Egmond-s side had made just four shots on target in the opening two rounds but fired six in this one alone. While they looked more threatening going forward, the Jets have now gone seven games without a win. The Phoenix bucked their trend of both scoring and conceding a goal in seven of their last eight matches but will need to improve their shot accuracy which was only 25%. Both goalkeepers were on top of their game at McLean Stadium, with Mark Birighitti and Glen Moss racking up 11 blocked shots between them to ensure both teams took a share of the spoils.
Perth Glory 1 - 0 Melbourne Heart
Melbourne Heart had won just one of their previous five A-League trips to NIB Stadium and they again came away from their trip to the west empty handed, with a Jamie MacLaren goal proving the difference. Coach John Aloisi will need to find a way to turn around his team-s form on the road as they-ve now won just one of their past 22 away games. Meanwhile Glory put in a much improved defensive effort, with the return of centre-back Michael Thwaite adding some much needed resolve at the back. The Glory had previously only managed a cleansheet in one of their past 12 games and with the impending arrival of former French international William Gallas, the Glory will be hoping to turn their newly laid stadium into a fortress this season.