After being crowned Championship winners in the 2018-19 season, much was expected of Daniel Farke’s Norwich City side heading into this Premier League campaign.
Read on for a summary of all the action from Round 22 of the A-League.
Brisbane Roar 3, Western Sydney Wanderers 1
With finals a real possibility for Western Sydney Wanderers, a win was crucial when they travelled to Brisbane to face the Roar. The home side got off to the better start. Scott McDonald scored the opener in the third minute before striking again in the 37th minute, Brisbane taking a two-goal lead into the main break.
Mitchell Duke continued his scoring run, pegging one back for the Wanderers in the 54th minute. Jay O’Shea stepping up in the 72nd minute to seal the game, Brisbane bouncing back from their loss last week.
Adelaide United 1, Western United 5
It was a seven-goal thriller the last time Western United and Adelaide United met, and their second encounter looked to be similar. Besart Berisha put Western United ahead in the 18th minute, before Riley McGree responded in the 25th minute.
The game would take a swing, Western United going two goals ahead (3-1) into half time with Alessandro Diamanti scoring in the 32nd minute and Max Burgess scoring in the 38th minute with VAR awarding the goal.
Western United furthered the damage in the second half. Connor Pain and Berisha scored in the 48th and 56th minutes to complete a thumping win 5-1 for Western United that elevated them back into the top six.
Melbourne Victory 1, Sydney FC 4
Traditional rivals Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC met in Melbourne for their Big Blue derby. The Victory got off the mark first, Marco Rojas giving his side the early advantage scoring in the fifth minute. Milos Ninkovic scored the leveler for Sydney in the 43rd minute, which opened the floodgates.
Anthony Caceres and Adam Le Fondre scored in quick succession in the 64th and 66th minutes to give Sydney control of the game. Things went from bad to worse for the Victory. Tim Hoogland received a contentious red card and gave away a penalty for his challenge on Trent Buhagiar. Kosta Barbarouses stepped up from the penalty spot as Sydney FC cruised to a 4-1 win.
Central Coast 1, Wellington 3
Having lost their last eight games, Central Coast Mariners were hoping to end their losing streak when they hosted the Wellington Phoenix. The Mariners once again got off to a poor start, the Phoenix scoring the first two goals of the game within the first 30 minutes. Liberato Cacace and Gary Hooper scored in the 18th and 30th minutes to take a two-goal lead into the halftime break.
Jaushua Sotirio sealed the game, putting the Phoenix three goals ahead in the 78th minute. The Mariners would leave it late to find the back of the net, Jair scoring a consolation goal in the 89th minute. The away win for the Phoenix momentarily placed them second on the table.
Perth Glory 2, Melbourne City 3
With the Wellington Phoenix jumping them on the table earlier in the day, Melbourne City needed a win in Perth in order to regain second place. And they got off to the ideal start, taking a three-goal lead into the main break with Rostyn Griffiths, Florin Berenguer and Markel Susaeta scoring in the 24th, 30th and 34th minutes.
The home side showed signs of life in the second half with Joel Chianese scoring in the 53rd minute to trim the margin back to two goals, before Bruno Fornaroli closed the gap further in the 64th minute with the easy tap-in. City kept the Glory at bay for the rest of the game, holding on for a 3-2 win and finishing the round in second position on the table.
Now let’s look at who was hot, and who was not.
Risdon was influential for his side in their 5-1 away win in Adelaide. Assisting three times on the weekend, Risdon created big chances for Western United. While going at only 62 per cent efficiency by foot, he was still able to be effective when it mattered.
After conceding the first goal in the opening ten minutes, Sydney FC dominated the rest of the game, cruising to an impressive 4-1 win. Winning 55 per cent of possession and having an extra three shots on goal than their Melbourne rivals, Sydney once again asserted their dominance against the Victory in Melbourne this season.
Mariners defenders struggled to mitigate the influence of Davila.
He was a presence in attack for the Phoenix. His shooting was not a factor but rather it was his passing. Assisting a goal and making 46 of his 51 passes (90 per cent passing efficiency), it was another impressive performance for the Mexican.
Once again the Victory were embarrassed by their rivals Sydney FC at home. Having lost 3-0 in their first clash, they lost by three goals again, losing 4-1. The loss ends any possibility of a finals appearance, which would be the first time the Victory would miss the finals since the 2011-12 season.
Central Coast Mariners
The loss against Wellington Phoenix is their ninth straight loss, having not won a game since the 12th of January. Different game, same story for the Mariners. Simply not A-League standard at the moment.