This round might just prove to be a kick start to the season for some teams. Wellington finally got their first 3 point of the season, Central Coast with arguably one of the goals of the season from an unexpected face while Melbourne City lost to Brisbane despite the inclusion of Tim Cahill to their line up.
GAME OF THE WEEK
This one was a tough one this round, no team scored higher than 2 goals which makes for an intense affair for each clash. I'm going for the Mariners against Adelaide. I'll admit, I was expecting Adelaide to start bouncing back from their run of bad luck but it wasn't to be. While the Mariners are infamously seen as the league's whipping boys, they seemed to dish out a little of their own. 2 quality goals from Roy O'Donovan and Conor Pain along with relentless attacking and a few close calls both ways. Good to see the Mariners show they won't be backing down this season, and get some points early on.
— Fox Sports Lab (@FoxSportsLab) November 6, 2016
GOAL OF THE WEEK
If you haven't heard it already, there are plenty of fans saying "why couldn't he do that last season?". And if you can't figure it out, I'm talking about that blinding strike from Conor Pain.
He's clearly renowned for his pace, but if you ask anyone about scoring a ripper from outside the box, not many would have picked this winger that came from Melbourne.
There's not much else I can, other than watch it.
It's a bit unusual of me to pick an instigator, but he really stood out for me. Perth Glory's Milan Smiljanic was involved in the thick of things against Western Sydney and had a 91% passing accuracy for the game. He's a niggling type player, the kind you'll be grateful to have on your team but the type of guy you'd absolutely loath playing against. It'd be intense to see Berisha vs Smiljanic when Perth and Victory play each other, two players who'll definitely go toe to toe if push came to shove. I'll admit, it's really not a great look for the league, but as a neutral I was pretty entertained by the clash between Berisha and Pascal Bosschart back in season 7.
People often say that football is boring, dictated by one goal or no goals after a lacklustre 90 minutes. If anything, this round shows that it can be tightly fought, gripping encounters decided by a mere goal in a game that has 2 or 3 goals. None of these games were considered thrashings, and it just goes to show that the quality of the league is improving. It's still early days, but overall a great round to watch any match.
That awful, awful penalty miss in the Big Blue. If you asked any fan before a match, they'd tell you that Besart Berisha can and will bury a penalty most days of the week. Saturday was not one of those days, as he ballooned an easy chance right into the Cove.
Sure enough, the Sydney players and fans well and truly gave it to him. While I think the players' reactions were completely uncalled for, I can't fault the fans. Let's not forget how much of a pork chop he carried on when he won a penalty at a certain Grand Final....
My peeve this week was the lack of handball called against David Carney. Sure, it came against my team, I won't say we played really well and deserved to win, because I don't think we did. But when the cross has that much pace taken off it from a handball, come on man. Watch it here, even the commentary team are saying it's a handball. I'm pretty sure Chris Beath, the referee in question, would have had a pretty damn good view of the incident. And seeing as he's one of the league's more experienced officials, I expected him to call it, despite the lack of player protests.
The standard of refereeing has been the subject of much criticism in the league thus far into the season, with a number of incidents the focal point for managers. Considering we've now appointed full time referees, it is crucial to the development of this league and the referees that a degree of consistency is instilled across all games. If this keeps up, we're going to continue to fall behind the 8 ball.
Wake up FFA, you're more concerned with "unruly fan behaviour", of which there has been little so far this season, and less with the bigger issues of the game. Act like the governing body you're supposed to be.
-Aloisi calls for diving bans
-'Two sets of rules': Melbourne Victory coach fuming at referee after loss to City
-Mariners camp call for fifth official for A-League matches
-Refs must protect players, Reds captain Galekovic says
-Melbourne Victory boss Kevin Muscat backs video referee trial in A-League