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What we learned from round 7 of the A-League

Three fixtures this past weekend ended up in draws for varying reasons.
Brisbane was held at home by Melbourne City in a game that frustrated Roar coach John Aloisi.
He claimed City was negative in its approach but John van 't Schip needed his team to have a disciplined approach after last week's battering at home.
City went ahead rather fortuitously after a Jamie Young blunder but Henrique was on hand to rescue a point with his second goal in as many weeks after his return from injury.
The Perth Glory versus Sydney FC match was a non-event due to the game kicking off in the oppressive Perth heat.
A drinks break was enforced in the first half and it was clear that neither team had the energy to create too much going forward with a total of two shots on target for the entire ninety minutes.
See below my assessment of where the FFA got this fixture wrong.
Adelaide United was better this week against the Newcastle Jets but could not find a way to get the ball past jets goalkeeper Mark Birrighiti.
He was outstanding and clearly the man of the match.
United coach Amor will be pleased with a clean sheet defensively but still needs a way to re-discover the entertaining, free flowing, offensive football that we have seen and loved from Adelaide over the past two seasons.

Victory cruise past Mariners

Melbourne Victory seemed to cruise past the Central Coast Mariners without really getting out of second gear.
Two moments of magic from Gui Finkler, with one incredible assist from Oliver Bozanic, saw the Victory ease past the Mariners who scored a consolation goal in the dying stages.
Even with the likes of Besart Berisha and Carl Valeri missing, Victory had far too much quality for the Mariners, but in his post match analysis, Kevin Muscat will be a little frustrated with the amount of times this season his players get into great positions but fail to capitalize.
However, when you have the quality that Victory poses, someone is always likely to pop up and produce the magic to win games.

Wanderers make it four on the trot

Tony Popovic seems to have sorted out the Wanderers' early season defensive frailties and has now strung together four wins in a row.
They dominated from start to finish and Wellington Phoenix, as coach Ernie Merrick admitted afterwards, did not really deserve to get anything from this game.
A tremendous goal, late in the game from Mark Bridge settled the result the Wanderers way.
Both he and Mitch Nichols gave that little bit of quality in the attacking third and were the difference between the two sides.

FFA kicking some own goals

For all the great things the FFA has done, and where the A-League now sits in the Australian sporting landscape, there are always lessons to be learned.
The stifling heat that the players had to endure in Perth not only killed the game as a spectacle for the viewers both in the stands and on television, but was also a health risk for the players.
It seems to be an issue each year with the scheduling of some fixtures and kick-off times.
The FFA needs to understand this is the single most important issue it needs to get right when scheduling these games as at the end of the day, it will impact the audience, the players and quality of the play.
These are the three key elements of our game.
Also, the scheduling of Thursday night games does not seem to be working.
Much like the poorly attended FFA Cup final due to ticket pricing, the Victory game last Thursday night had significantly fewer numbers in the stadium than usual.
This type of fixture might work during school holidays, but I am sure many families with young children would have hesitated to attend this game.
The FFA need to be careful as it balances pleasing the TV and commercial partners without losing the colour and atmosphere of live football, as that is what sets it apart from all other sports.

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