A-League winners and losers: 'Dominant' Sydney FC in denial about Big Blue performance

Several new narratives emerged in an A-League round full of excitement

Sydney FC had some interesting things to say following their 2-1 defeat to Melbourne Victory in the Big Blue, while there appears to be serious problems at Melbourne City.

Spotless Stadium wasn't all that spotless on Friday night and the Newcastle Jets finally got on the board for their first win of the A-League season.

Adam Taggart also announced himself as a potential Socceroos option with the Asian Cup fast approaching.

Here's who won and lost in Round 5 of the A-League...  

  1. Winner - Adam Taggart

    With the Socceroos struggling to find a goalscorer, Brisbane Roar's Adam Taggart just continues to put the ball in the back of the net - scoring a brace in the win against Melbourne City.

    Having scored five goals in five games, Taggart is the most in form Australian striker worldwide and must be on the radar of national team coach Graham Arnold.

    One of the only criticisms you could make of Taggart is that he isn't putting enough of his clear cut chances away, but there is no doubting his movement as a striker is elite.

    Current Socceroos starting centre forward Jamie Maclaren was disappointing in the nation's recent friendlies and has only scored one goal for Hibernian in 12 matches this season.

    If Taggart continues to score goals in the next month, how could he be ignored as a goal scoring option?

  2. Loser - Sydney FC

    "Sydney FC dominant in narrow defeat," read the Sky Blues' press release following their 2-1 loss to Melbourne Victory.

    "Disappointing because I thought we dominated in the first and the second half, but two mistakes you get punished," coach Steve Corica said after the defeat.

    It was certainly an interesting way to examine a match in which the Sky Blues just slightly shaded in possession.

    While the Sky Blues certainly pushed hard for an equaliser in the latter stages, you would probably expect a strong team at home to go for a result.

    But can you really describe a team with only six percent more possession, less shots on goal and less on target as dominant in a match?

    Neither team particularly threatened the other's goalkeeper in a game of few chances.

    It seems that Sydney's press releases and Corica's messages are a continuation of the strong, confident language used by former coach Graham Arnold and co over the last two seasons of Sky Blue success.

    If that performance from Sydney FC was dominant, Goal is definitely worried about the Sky Blue's fortunes this season.

  3. Winner - Kevin Muscat

    Last season there was many occasions, including by Goal, where Kevin Muscat's substitutions and tactics were publicly questioned.

    But the Melbourne Victory coach deserves praise for his moves in the second half as the away side held on to a great win on the road against Sydney FC.

    First Muscat made the interesting move to haul off semi final hero Terry Antonis to solidfy the midfield with the addition of Raul Baena, and then removed tiring goalscorer Ola Toivonen for stalwart Leigh Broxham.

    The moves allowed Keisuke Honda to push into a more attacking position and win the penalty that ultimately secured the three points.

  4. Loser - Warren Joyce

    Another week, another interesting selection decision at Melbourne City.

    Coach Warren Joyce left out Bruno Fornaroli from Saturday night's match against Brisbane Roar, and Goal's sources including the Covert Agent say the Uruguayan wasn't too happy about the decision.

    This comes only week after Luke Brattan and Anthony Caceres were completely dropped from the squad that defeated Wellington Phoenix.

    All doesn't seem well at Melbourne City and it's hard to see them having a successful season while all these issues are present.

  5. Winner - Newcastle Jets

    Boy the Newcastle Jets needed a win and some goals - getting the job done with a 2-0 win against Western Sydney Wanderers at Spotless Stadum.

    Ernie Merrick's goal shy team have struggled at the start of their campaign - probably because of the absence of Irish striker Roy O'Donovan.

    But strikes from Jason Hoffman and Ronnie Vargas released the pressure valve and secured the team's first win of the season.

    Jets fans will be hoping their team can kick off from this point and start moving up the league table.

  6. Loser - Spotless Stadium

    How can a supposedly premier boutique football venue produce a pitch in such a poor condition?

    The state of the playing field was disrespectful to football and also to the Wanderers - who have struggled to make the venue feel like home since moving there two seasons afo

    If the venue can't be producing a world class enviroment for every event it has then it clearly overbooking itself or is incompetant it in its duties.