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Snapshot for A-League round 25

A-LEAGUE SNAPSHOT FOR ROUND 25

* THEY SAID IT: "They're the best team in the league. That's a fact." - proud Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic heaped praise on his players after they wrapped up the Premiers Plate with a 1-0 win over Newcastle.

* MAN OF THE ROUND: Diego Castro. Glory's 15-year wait for silverware was tantalisingly within reach, but they just lacked the class to break through Newcastle's defence. That was until Castro delivered a perfectly-weighted pass into the box for Ivan Franjic to slot home the winner in the 65th minute.

* STAT ATTACK: The Wanderers have now won just one of the past 17 league and cup derbies against rivals Sydney FC.

* TALKING POINT: Phoenix coach Mark Rudan has all but confirmed reports he's leaving at the end of the season, saying he'd informed the club of his decision three weeks ago but that an official announcement will follow this week. He denies the speculation swirling over his future has played a part in two straight defeats.

* THE WAITING GAME: It had been 15 years since Perth Glory's last piece of silverware, and Glory fans celebrated like it was 2004 after watching their team wrap up the Premiers Plate. Players and coaches embraced in big hugs after the match, and the team song afterwards shook the walls at HBF Park.

* UNDER PRESSURE: Wellington Phoenix. Two straight losses have seen them slip to fifth spot, one point behind Adelaide. Phoenix take on Melbourne City and Perth Glory in the final two rounds, meaning they face an uphill battle to secure fourth spot and the home final that goes with it.

* WHAT'S NEXT: A quirky round awaits the six finals-bound sides, with the fixture to pit 1 v 2; 3 v 4; and 5 v 6. Premiers Plate winners Perth Glory will kick things off on Thursday night when they take on the Sky Blues in Sydney. Melbourne Victory are still a chance to finish second, but face a tough test in Adelaide on Friday night. Phoenix will be aiming to get out of their mini slump when they host Melbourne City on Sunday.