End-to-End: Round 5

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Taking a look at all the weekend’s action, we investigate who had a thoroughly enjoyable weekend and who couldn’t wait for the sound of their Monday alarm.

In another drama filled weekend of football, tempers flared as champions continued to struggle while others were brought back down to earth. However, at the other end of the spectrum is a club enjoying life at the top.

Losers
Brisbane. The A-League’s defending champions have made it a habit to appear in this section so far this season. Suffering yet another defeat, the Roar have slumped to 0-0-4, the worst ever start to an A-League season by any club. To make matters worse, the inter-squad bickering has begun, with James Young and Shane Stefanutto needing to be separated on more than one occasion following their most recent defeat. It is hard to identify where things are going wrong for the Roar, with the only noticeable difference from last year being the absence of Besart Berisha. The departure of Berisha certainly justifies the lack of goals, but does not explain the Roar’s league poorest defensive record of 10 goals in four matches. Things will need to turn around in a flash if Brisbane is to continue their success of recent seasons.

Having just conquered the continent of Asia, we can cut the Western Sydney Wanderers a bit of slack. However, it needs to be noted that despite their ACL success, the Wanderers have started the A-League season 0-0-3. While three games is nothing to lose sleep over, it is only one game away from equalling Brisbane’s record. They will be up against it as they try to stop this trend on the weekend when they travel to Perth.

The FFA Cup has fallen off the radar in recent weeks so you would be forgiven for not knowing what was going on. On Tuesday, the first Semi-Final was played between Perth Glory and Victorian Premier League side Bentleigh Greens. The Glory came out 3-0 winners, knocking out the last remaining amateur team from the competition, with Central Coastand Adelaide United facing off in the other Semi as the Mariners came out 3-2 winners. The FFA did their best to keep alive the ‘fairy-tale’ factor for as long as possible by fixing the draw. Despite the waning interest lately, its strong start was very positive and if the final can capture the ‘Cup Final’ atmosphere it will have a been a big success.

Winners

If you took a quick look at both the A-League and W-League ladders you could easily identify the club off to the best start. Perth’s women’s side continue to dominate the competition and have all but wrapped up top position. While the men jumped from fourth into first place following their 1-0 win over the Central Coast. In addition to their league position, the Glory became the first team into the FFA Cup Final following their win over Bentleigh.

While Irish striker Andy Keogh stole the headlines early in the season, Serbian attacking midfielder Nebojsa Marinkovic has been all the rage the past week. A stunning free kick proved the difference against the Mariners, but Marinkovic was not done there, scoring another free kick that was just as good against Bentleigh. It is remarkably refreshing to have a dead-ball specialist who is just that in the A-League.

Wrapping up our winners for the week is Melbourne City. With David Villa gone, City decided it was time to record their first win of the season, upsetting Brisbane 3-1. With much of the attention and distraction away from them, City looked a much different side. Strikers David Williams and Mate Dugandzic were the standouts for City as their win moves them into sixth place and gives them the opportunity to sure up a spot in the top six.

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