ICYMI: Hyundai A-League Round 1 wrap
We’re back! And in case you missed any of the goals, talking points, drama and viral videos, here’s your Monday wrap of a cracking weekend in the Hyundai A-League
JETS' DREAM DERBY
Most passionate F3 Derby we’ve seen in ages? Absolutely.
And Ernie Merrick could scarcely have imagined a better start to his tenure as Jets coach, especially after finding his side 1-0 down against the new-look Mariners after just five minutes.
But his new-look side came roaring back and an astonishing “perfect” first half hat-trick from Roy O'Donovan saw him not so much bite the hand that used to feed him as chomp it off at the wrist.
An assured second half strike from 20-year-old substitute Joe Champness and a belter from Dimi Petratos iced the cake.
It was a five-star performance from Newcastle and as commentator Simon Hill exclaimed, "The Jets have lift-off!"
FIRST BLOOD TO SYDNEY IN BIG BLUE
The defending champions inflicted a fifth-straight defeat on Melbourne Victory in a hard-fought Grand Final rematch.
Missing three key players through international duty, Kevin Muscat's men were always in the contest, but Thomas Deng's second half own-goal proved to be the difference.
It wasn't comfortable for Graham Arnold's men though and while they had the better of the key metrics, were unable to break down a resolute Victory defence.
Big Blue 2 for this season doesn't roll around until Round 18, by which stage we'll have a far better idea of whether the big two are likely to fight over the silverware again this season.
NO POPA, NO PROBLEM
Curiosity swirled over how Western Sydney would respond to the loss of their inspirational coach just a week before the start of the new season.
But with Hayden Foxe taking the reins from the departed Tony Popovic, the Wanderers showed they'll still be a force to be reckoned with in 2017/18.
Goals in quick succession just before half-time from Golden Boot contender Oriol Riera and fellow attacker Jumpei Kusukami put the home side into a 2-0 lead.
Glory struck late through a Brendan Hamill own-goal, but Western Sydney held on to claim all three points in their first game of the post-Popa era.
NEW MEN MAKE AN EARLY IMPACT
We got our first glimpse of some of the new faces in the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season and several of them hit the ground running.
Spanish winger Alvaro Cejudo starred for Western Sydney, setting up Oriol Riera's opening goal and showing some wonderful touches in his Hyundai A-League debut.
Sydney FC's new Polish midfielder Adrian Mierzejewski showed he'll provide headaches for opposition defenders and looks to have quickly forged cohesive combinations with fellow Sky Blue imports Bobo and Milos Ninkovic.
Dutchman Leroy George also endeared himself immediately to Victory fans with an energetic debut.
Danish winger Johan Absalonsen was on the scoresheet early in his first game for Adelaide United, while German midfielder Daniel Adlung put in a committed display in his first outing and Goran Paracki was solid at the base of Wellington's midfield.
And in a beaten side, the Dutch duo of Wout Brama and Tom Hiariej still showed enough to suggest they'll have a major part to play in the Mariners engine-room this season.