R11 Review: Derby defeat for Victory sees Perth double lead

by Jeremy Ruane:
with the compliments of www.sportswebsoccer.com

R11 Review

Perth Glory have stormed six points clear in the Hyundai A-League after Melbourne Victory’s unbeaten start to the season went west at the hands of Melbourne City at AAMI Park in the feature match of the competition’s eleventh round.

Erik Paartalu’s stoppage time headed winner earned City a 1-0 win and bragging rights in the derby, which was attended by 26,372 fans. They saw an Iain Ramsey effort cleared off the line, and Victory’s Archie Thompson fire over when scoring appeared easier just after the half-hour.

City were fortunate to maintain parity in playing numbers early in the second half, when Jacob Melling’s errant elbow caught Leigh Broxham and prompted a gathering of the clans. The offender escaped with a booking.

Victory were denied a goal by the offside flag seventeen minutes from time in this eventful affair, which saw Nathan Coe produce a stunning save to deny Paartalu late on, and Aaron Mooy hit the crossbar for City, whose late late show propelled them into sixth place on the table.

They are some way behind Perth, however, as the Western Australians handed Central Coast Mariners a 4-1 hiding in front of 9,660 fans at NIB Stadium to double their lead at the top of the table.

Two goals in as many minutes just after the half-hour mark from Chris Harold and Andy Keogh turned the game Perth’s way, and while Matt Simon pulled a goal back just after half-time, the visitors were undone by a sublime Daniel De Silva strike twenty minutes from time.

Harold wrapped up the scoring eleven minutes from time with a delightful curling effort to bolster Perth’s goal difference and ensure they would top the A-League’s Christmas tree in 2014.

Third-placed Adelaide United, who edged Perth 1-0 in the inaugural FFA Cup Final during the week, couldn’t carry that form into their league campaign, as Newcastle Jets scored their first win in eight months to upset the title-chasers 2-1 at Hunter Stadium.

10,407 fans saw Eugene Galekovic produce a point-blank range save to deny Andrew Hoole in the first half, but four minutes after the break, Scott Neville had the beating of United’s ‘keeper following a corner.

Twenty minutes from time, Craig Goodwin rewarded Adelaide’s dominance of possession with an equaliser, but with nine minutes left, Newcastle substitute Jeronimo Neumann handed his former club their second successive league defeat to the delight of the natives, whose last victory also came at Adelaide’s expense.

On Sunday evening, chances were at a premium in the first half at Allianz Stadium, with Marc Janko’s crossbar-shaker for Sydney FC their only genuine opening in a tight encounter with Wellington Phoenix.

The visitors’ second half response proved decisive, two Nathan Burns goals in eight minutes clinching a 2-0 victory for Wellington, whose three-point haul from this defence-dominated affair allowed them to leap-frog Sydney into fourth place on the table.

Boxing Day battles kick off the twelfth round of action, with Melbourne City entertaining Perth at AAMI Park prior to Sydney and Adelaide getting it on at Allianz Stadium.

Twenty-four hours later, Central Coast and Brisbane do battle at Central Coast Stadium, while Melbourne Victory and Newcastle meet at AAMI Park before the return to A-League action, on Sunday evening, of Western Sydney Wanderers – they head to Westpac Stadium to take on Wellington in what is a must-win match for the visitors.

As this is the last review prior to Christmas, I take this opportunity to wish all readers a Merry Christmas and a memorable festive season.

Match details

Melbourne City FC 1 (E. Paartalu (90)) – Melbourne Victory FC 0 HT; 0-0

Newcastle Jets FC 2 (S. Neville (49), J. Neumann (81)) – Adelaide United FC 1 (C. Goodwin (69));  HT 0-0

Perth Glory FC 4 (C. Harold (33, 79), A. Keogh (35), D. de Silva (71)) – Central Coast Mariners FC 1 (M. Simon (49)); HT 2-0

Sydney FC 0 – Wellington Phoenix FC 2 (N. Burns (73, 81)); HT 0-0

Table

P    W    D    L    F    A    GD    Pts

Perth Glory    11    9    1    1    21    11    +10    28

Melbourne Victory    11    6    4    1    24    12    +12    22

Adelaide United    11    6    2    3    16    10    +6    20

Wellington Phoenix    11    6    1    4    21    13    +8    19

Sydney FC    11    4    5    2    15    12    +3    17

Melbourne City    10    3    3    4    14    19    -5    12

Brisbane Roar    10    3    1    6    11    13    -2    10

Central Coast    11    1    4    6    7    18    -11    7

Newcastle Jets    11    1    4    6    10    22    -12    7

Western Sydney    9    0    3    6    6    15    -9    3