On Sunday afternoon I sat down with two fellow West Ham United fans at my local.
Round 15 of the A-League season has just been completed. Here’s everything you need to know.
In Round 15 there were two caretaker coaches. There was one at the Newcastle Jets, in Craig Deans, and the other at Melbourne Victory, in Carlos Salvachua.
Another, Markus Babbel from the Western Sydney Wanderers, is under the pump – to put it politely.
As usual, there were a few VAR decisions which were controversial. We also had the first female referee in the A-League, in the game between Melbourne City and the Newcastle Jets.
READ MORE: What happened? A-League Round 14
In all five games played in this round, the winning teams all kept a clean sheet, which is a rarity.
Adelaide United responded to having lost four games in a row by putting in a good shift, particularly in the first half where they completely outplayed the Melbourne Victory.
Wellington Phoenix left the game empty handed from a points perspective, but played some good football, particularly in the first half.
Melbourne City didn’t play well against the Newcastle Jets, even though they were victorious, with the Newcastle Jets performing admirably despite losing for the second week in a row.
Western United played some good football in the first part of the first half and won the game 3-nil, but overall the Central Coast Mariners’ performance didn’t warrant the final score line.
The Perth Glory were fortunate to claim all three points, as they were extremely disappointing after half time.
Who was a standout?
Harrison Delbridge proved that he has what it takes to play football at a higher level than the A-League with a quality display.
Alessandro Diamanti was outstanding until he was forced off with an injury in the 30th minute, when his team was leading 3-nil.
Biggest impact from the substitute bench?
It was a no brainer. Dylan Wenzel-Halls scored within two minutes of coming off the substitute bench.
Top two coaches
1. Gertjan Verbeek (Adelaide United)- Adelaide United played fantastically, particularly in the first half of the game.
2. Ufuk Talay (Wellington Phoenix)- Wellington Phoenix played some quality football, despite the fact that they lost.
Coaches under the pump
Markus Babbel (Western Sydney Wanderers)- It appeared as if nothing can go the way of Markus Babbel as his team had a goal ruled out that would have given the Western Sydney Wanderers at least a point.
Carlos Salvachua (Melbourne Victory)- Melbourne Victory didn’t appear to have a game plan in the first half.
Round 15 key points
Adelaide United (1) v Melbourne Victory (0)
Magic moment: Andrew Nabbout had a shot well saved by Adelaide United goalkeeper, Paul Izzo in the 93rd minute that would have levelled the scores at 1-all.
Who stood out from the pack? Ben Halloran worked tirelessly and was rewarded with the only goal of the game.
What went right? VAR correctly overturned a penalty awarded for Melbourne Victory, as the ball didn’t strike Jordan Elsey’s hand, but clearly hit Elsey’s chest. Melbourne Victory performed better in the second half, which made the game a more exciting spectacle than the first half.
Adelaide United were the deserved winners of this game.
What went wrong? Robbie Kruse could well have been awarded a penalty for a push by Jordan Elsey in the 24th minute, which may well have changed the result.
The first half from Melbourne Victory was disgraceful as they were extremely disjointed.
Both teams weren’t clinical in the final third with a combined total of nine shots on target from 36, which meant that there was just one shot out of every four on target.
Andrew Nabbout was visibly upset after the game as he felt responsible for missing some elementary chances to score.
Should Melbourne Victory have sacked Marco Kurz?
Brisbane Roar (1) v Wellington Phoenix (0)
Magic moments: Dylan Wenzel-Halls scored a cracking goal to break the deadlock in the 69th minute.
Ulises Davilla had a goal saved brilliantly by Jamie Young in the 82nd.
Who stood out from the pack? Jamie Young was just about the difference between the two teams.
What went right? Jack Hingert had a good shot on his left foot go straight at Stefan Marinovic in the ninth minute.
Both teams played the game at a high tempo with the balance of play fairly even between the two teams.
Robbie Fowler made good substitutions bringing on Scott Mcdonald and Dylan Wenzel-Halls, who both made contributions.
What went wrong? Steinmann was suspended after accumulating five yellow cards.
Jaushua Sotirio hit the bar in the 27th minute.
Steven Taylor hit the bar in the 38th minute.
Bradden Inman missed an easy goal, late in the game for the Brisbane Roar.
Melbourne City (2) v Newcastle Jets (0)
Magic Moment: Jason Hoffman had a shot well saved in the 89th minute by Dean Bouzanis.
Who stood out from the pack? Harrison Delbridge showed what a quality player he is with an outstanding performance.
What went right? The game was extremely well refereed.
Jamie Maclaren finished the game with a goal and an assist.
Despite the score line, the Newcastle Jets performed well.
Dean Bouzanis made some crucial saves for Melbourne City.
What went wrong? The Newcastle Jets weren’t clinical enough in the final third.
Jamie Maclaren missed an easy goal in the 91st minute.
Western United (3) v Central Coast Mariners (0)
Magic Moment: Alessandro Diamanti played an exquisite cross, which was headered into the back of the net in the sixth minute.
Who stood out from the pack? Alessandro Diamanti only played 30 minutes, due to picking up an injury, Diamanti displayed exquisite skills, which showed why he is so highly rated.
What went right? Besart Berisha scored a brace in the opening 21 minutes.
Max Burgess had a good game in just his second start of the A-League Season.
Josh Risdon made some marauding runs forward in his first game back from injury.
What went wrong? Josh Risdon shot in the 18th minute due to a deflection by Kye Rowles that was ruled an own goal by Kye Rowles.
Alessandro Diamanti was forced to be substituted off due to injury in the 30th minute.
Jordan Murray missed a goal with the header in the 53rd minute.
The Central Coast Mariners failed to score, despite controlling the tempo of the game for much of it.
Western Sydney Wanderers (0) v Perth Glory (1)
Magic Moment: Nicolai Muller had a shot well saved by Liam Reddy in the 27th minute.
Who stood out from the pack? Diego Castro showed great ball control and put in a good shift for the Perth Glory.
What went right? Bruno Fornaroli scored early in the game.
Joel Chianese appeared to have made the score 2-nil in the 76th minute, but it was overturned by the VAR correctly due to being offside and this was a correct VAR decision!
What went wrong? The Western Sydney Wanderers tempo was too slow in the first half.
Kwame Yeboah scored an equaliser with an intelligent chest from a shot by Daniel Georgievski, well at least I thought so, but it was overturned by the VAR for what was deemed to be a handball by Kwame Yeboah, early in the second half.