A-League Round 13 Snapshot


THEY SAID IT - "The gap is getting larger and we're shooting ourselves in the foot," Ernie Merrick praised James Troisi for his last-gasp winner against his Newcastle Jets side but bemoaned the outcome. The Jets generated plenty of chances against Victory but lost 2-1 to sit seven points outside of the finals places.

MAN OF THE ROUND - Melbourne City have been without a marquee forward since Bruno Fornaroli was placed on the outer by coach Warren Joyce. That was, until Friday night when Joyce repurposed marquee full-back Ritchie de Laet as a striker against Brisbane. The 30-year-old Belgian duly scored the only goal of the game.

STAT ATTACK - No fewer than 11 players in the Wanderers squad that lost 4-3 to Perth Glory were either from the club's academy or from Western Sydney. There were plenty of good performances from the young side but ultimately Markus Babbel's troops ran out of gas.

TALKING POINT - Is the title going West? Tony Popovic's side simply don't know how to lose. The Glory were 2-0 and 3-1 down before finding the energy to pinch the contest and go six points clear on top of the table. And all just a week after a 4-2 comeback win over Brisbane Roar - good signs for a club starved of silverware. At least Sydney FC, 2-1 winners over Adelaide United, and Melbourne Victory, which defeated Newcastle by the same scoreline, also won to keep up pressure on Tony Popovic's side.

UNDER PRESSURE - Another week, another capitulation for Central Coast. The Mariners were shock 2-0 leaders away to rising force Wellington Phoenix only to drop their bundle again and lose 3-2. It was the same old story for Mike Mulvey's men, which could yet end up the A-League's worst ever side. Central Coast hit the lead but unravelled after a red card. Kye Rowles was the culprit against the Phoenix, mirroring Kalifa Cisse's send off against Sydney FC.

MILESTONE MEN - The defenders celebrated milestones with three points this weekend. Wellington's Andrew Durante played his 300th match, Sydney FC stopper Alex Wilkinson played in game 250 and emerging Socceroo Thomas Deng notched his 50th.

WHAT'S NEXT - No rest for the A-League title-chasers from Melbourne, with Victory playing Brisbane on Tuesday and City off to Central Coast. They then host the two most interesting fixtures of the weekend. On Saturday night, Perth visit AAMI Park in a meeting of the teams rumoured to be swapping strikers. A night later, Victory host upstarts Wellington.