A-League: Five things we learned from round nine
1. Glory are the real deal
Kenny Lowe is a character. When asked of Perth Glory's status as title contender, the Brit reiterated that it would be 'ridiculous' after 10 games of the season to say so, adding: “No one needs to give us credit. Just leave us alone, tell us we're bad and (we'll) keep winning.”
Following their come from behind 2-1 win over Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Thursday night, it seems Lowe's attempts at playing down their side's early league lead are in vain.
Their attacking approach of playing in tight spaces and exploiting the wings saw them dominate the first half. A dubious penalty call, however, gifted the Sky Blues the lead. A resilient Perth side managed to score two goals off set-pieces in the final 10 minutes, however, and it proved to be enough for Glory take home the three points.
2. North Sydney Oval a failed test
There's no denying that the board members of the Central Coast Mariners are visionaries. Despite ongoing success in the league and their ability to forge a loyal fan base, the club executives see a continual need to expand their reach.
So much so that they've deemed games outside Gosford as necessary and their latest move away from Central Coast Stadium has been far from impressive.
Even prior to the start of the game, fans were unimpressed by the situation. So too were players and Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat the most vocal of the lot who, after the match, remarked that football had gone back 20 years.
The Mariners 3-0 defeat, after looking solid in the first half and the initial stages of the second, is hardly desirable result and any chance of accumulating a bigger fan base in North Sydney seems unlikely.
3. Burns ready for Socceroos
Ange Postecoglou announced his 46-man Socceroos Asian Cup preliminary squad on Monday and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Nathan Burns made the list.
Burns' clinical prowess in front of goal is hard for Ange to ignore. The 26-year-old once again added to his tally in the A-League after netting Wellington Phoenix's all-important equaliser in the 73rd minute before the Kiwi club lashed home another two for a 3-1 finish against Newcastle Jets.
Burns now has eight goals to his name this season. Given the Socceroos one-sided nature in attack, Burns would offer something different to Tim Cahill's aerial prowess. Ernie Merrick seems to think his attacker is the best fit for the role, but Burns will need to keep up his good form in order to make the 23-man cut.
4. Wanderers in crisis?
One week in football is a long time. Just ask the Western Sydney Wanderers who seem to be on the brink of crisis.
Following their promising 1-1 draw against cross-town rivals Sydney FC, it looked like the result would only benefit one side.
Neither bounced back, however, and a 10-man Wanderers went on to lose 2-0 to Adelaide United.
The score hardly reflects the manner with which they were outgunned by the Reds but a look at the stats says it all.
Josep Gombau’s men enjoyed 74% of possession, had 26 shots, 13 corners, completed 675 passes and would have scored more had it not been for Ante Covic.
5. Same old Roar
Frans Thijssen may have only been in charge for three games, yet it seems Brisbane Roar still suffer the same problems in front of goal and barely managed to get behind Melbourne City's defence.
Socceroo Matt McKay scuffed decent opportunities throughout the match. Brandon Borello and Mensur Kurtishi looked far from their best and Dimi Petratos simply looks more comfortable in his position on the wing.
Meanwhile, City's topsy-turvy run in the league continues. John van't Schip though will breathe a sigh of relief as the 1-0 win keeps them in the hunt for finals football.