What a massive round, eh? Reds stun City, a crazy game at AAMI while it was the snake charmer himself Vedran Janjetovic who stole the show in the Sydney Derby. That and plenty more had the fans talking football this weekend.
Wanderers' snake charmer has the last laugh
You've gotta admire super keeper Vedran Janjetovic. He smiled when the massive screens at Allianz had close ups of him and the Sydney FC fans booed him incessantly in the derby. And he kept his cool after plastic snakes were hurled onto his net in front of the Cove, in reference to his move to Wanderers. Then after his man of the match display, he showed he could laugh it all off by posting this pic on the RBB's official Twitter. Talk about free PR for Allen's!
#SydneyDerby fever takes hold again
There were no goals but the Sydney Derby again showed why it’s become an iconic event in Australian sport after another absorbing 90 minutes at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night. It was tense, it was full-blooded and had some gripping action but in the end the two fierce Harbour City rivals couldn’t be split. It was the sixth straight match between the two sides at Allianz to attract a crowd over the 40,000 mark in another sign of the growing power of the derby as a sports brand. The result keeps the Sky Blues undefeated at the top of the Hyundai A-League – and stretches their unbeaten run against the Wanderers to nine matches. But it might just be the Red and Black who took the most out of the contest, having kept their first clean sheet of the season – thanks largely to ex-Sydney FC gloveman Vedran Janjetovic – and perhaps a solid building block for a strong second half of the season. And it’s less than five weeks until the two do it all again at ANZ Stadium.
AAMI Park the home of the A-League classic?
The Hyundai A-League has provided so many spectacular games so far this season but fans in Melbourne have been spoilt when it comes to excitement, drama and action in the 2016/17 Season. Whether it’s Melbourne City or Victory, there have been some cracking matches at the boutique football venue. There was Glory’s incredible 3-2 win over City in round 2, Victory’s come-from-behind derby win last month, the crazy 3-3 draw between City and Glory during the Summer of Football, not to mention the small matter of a Westfield FFA Cup final. And it continued on Friday night as Victory and Brisbane Roar played out another five-goal thriller, with breath-taking goals, a spirited fightback and a tinge of controversy. And there’s another game there on Thursday night (City v Mariners), you’d be foolish not to get there.
Troisi is back
He’s been on the books of Juventus and scored one of the Caltex Socceroos’ most important goals (remember the 2015 Asian Cup final) but it’s hard to remember a time James Troisi has played better than he is right now. For the third game in a row the Melbourne Victory playmaker was at his classy best, scoring a brilliant free-kick and providing an assist in the win over Brisbane Roar. In this form, a return to the green and gold can’t be too far away.
“Santa” makes a young fans day
Christmas may be well gone now but Santa is still delivering early in 2017. Brendon Santalab that is. The Western Sydney Wanderers striker is known for his fiery play and in-your-face style but the striker showed his softer side in recent days. Santalab used part of his time serving a three-game ban – which kept him out of Saturday night’s epic Sydney Derby – to write a letter to a young footballer who was worried their new hearing aids would affect their ability to play the sport. Santa reassured the youngster that hearing aids would not prove a barrier to playing football and said that none of his teammates had ever been judged differently due to wearing them. A classy gesture from the Wanderers man. Bravo Santa!
Plenty of fight and spirit left in the Reds
After a week in which club officials met with fans to ease growing discontent over Adelaide United’s poor season, never was a win needed more than the Reds’ clash with Melbourne City on Thursday night. And there was a special atmosphere inside Coopers Stadium as Gui Amor’s side showed tremendous character to come from a goal down to beat Cahill, Fornaroli and co, with 20-year-old Kenyan-born defender Mark Ochieng the unlikely hero. Almost 11,000 fans turned up on a Thursday night to get behind the team, an excellent show of support which indicates they are still very much united in Adelaide. Could this be the start of late season finals charge from the champions?