The Central Coast Mariners reclaim the top spot in this week’s A-League Power Rankings…with authority. A compelling performance against the Wellington Phoenix told the story for the best team in all of Australia, while Western Sydney have won five on the trot. All this and more in this week’s A-League Power Rankings on the View from Avalon.
1. Central Coast Mariners
Graham Arnold’s Central Coast Mariners were firing on all cylinders after they blew past Wellington Phoenix. Bernie Ibini-Isei scored a brace in the 30th and 84th minutes to lead Central Coast. Also scoring were John Hutchinson (65′), Daniel McBreen (69′) and Mitchell Duke (89′). The Mariners return to action against Perth Glory on Feb. 16 at nib Stadium in Perth..
2. Western Sydney Wanderers
Tony Popovic’s Western Sydney Wanderers continued their dream season with a 2-1 victory over thr Newcastle Jets at Campbelltown Stadium in Campbelltown, New South Wales. Youssouf Hersi opened up the scoring in the 45th minute and Mark Bridge’s 83rd minute strike clinched all three points for the Wanderers. Western Sydney return to action on Feb. 16 against the Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park in Melbourne.
3. Adelaide United
Michael Valkanis’s Adelaide United shook off the flux thanks to Jeronimo Neumann’s 43rd-minute game winner over Melbourne Victory at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide. With the 1-0 win, the Reds will look to gain more ground on Sydney FC on Feb. 16 at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
4. Melbourne Victory
Are the wheels starting to fall off against for Ange Postecoglou’s Melbourne Victory? Their 1-0 defeat to Adelaide United has left them seeking for answers. Perhaps their Feb. 16 contest with ther Western Sydney Wanders at AAMI Park might be the solution they need?
5. Sydney FC
At Allianz Stadium, Frank Farina’s Sydney FC got goals from Alessandro Del Piero in the seventh minute and Peter Triantis in the 69th minute of play to give the Sky Blues a 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar. Up next for Sydney is a Feb. 16 home contest with Adelaide United.
6. Melbourne Heart
John Aloisi’s Melbourne Heart got right on Saturday night against Perth Glory. Goals from Nick Kalmar in the 23rd minute and Eli Babalj in the 66th minute of play pace the Heart to a 2-0 shutout victory at AAMI Park. Up next for the Heart is a Feb. 15 tie with Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium in Newcastle.
7. Brisbane Roar
Besart Berisha got Mike Mulvey’s Brisbane Roar on the score sheet in the 45th minute off a penalty, but that was all they could manage as they fell, 2-1, to Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium. The Roar have a chance to get back in the chase on Feb. 17 against Wellington Phoenix at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
8. Newcastle Jets
Ruben Zadkovich was in on goal in the 90th minute for Gary van Egmond’s Newcastle Jets but the rally came too little, too late, as they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat to the Western Sydney Wanderers at Campbelltown Stadium. The comfy confines of the Hunter Stadium may bode well for Newcastle as they face Melbourne Heart on Feb. 15.
9. Perth Glory
Perth Glory’s 2-0 defeat to Melbourne Heart was a costly one for Ian Ferguson, as he was sacked hours later by the club management. With their playoff hopes all but turned to dust, the focus is on building for next year as they face the Central Coast Mariners on Feb. 16 at nib Stadium.
10. Wellington Phoenix
Ricki Herbert may be the next one to go, as the Wellington Phoenix manager saw his club get chased out of Bluetongue Stadium in Gosford by the Central Coast Mariners, 5-0. If Wellington cannot put it together on Feb. 17 against Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium, it will put more pressure on the board to fire the trigger.