The A-League best and worst: Bad sport Muscat, Jets look the goods

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Saturday night's Big Blue was disappointing for many reasons while Ernie Merrick's Jets started the season on fire with a massive derby victory

Sydney FC got the job done 2-1 against Melbourne Victory in the grand final rematch on Saturday night, but there was plenty to be disappointed at during the first Big Blue of the season.

It was petulant of Kevin Muscat to not shake Graham Arnold's hand after an intense yet not particularly entertaining match at Etihad Stadium.

The Victory coach's decision to snub his Sky Blue counterpart definitely builds the rivalry between the two clubs and managers, but doesn't reflect well on the man himself.

Ask yourself this - would you see other quality Australian coaches such as Tony Popovic or Ange Postecoglou do the same?

If Muscat ever harbours ambition of managing the Socceroos one day, an attitude change is needed.

Kevin Muscat Graham Arnold

 

The Big Blue crowd was an absolute disaster with only 24,804 showing up to Etihad Stadium for a match that was billed as the headline act of the A-League's opening round.

Surely the league was targeting a minimum crowd of 30,000 - and were likely hopeful for quite a few more.

Did the home fans not show up because their team was missing three of their best four players, in James Troisi, Mark Milligan and Kosta Barbarouses, on international duty?

Was it a vote of no confidence by supporters in Etihad Stadium?

Or was it because the pre-season promotion of the A-League has been limited?

Whatever the answer - it's unlikely we'll see the same fixture for round one next season.

Eithad Stadium Melbourne

 

The best match of the round was undoubtedly the F3 derby with Newcastle getting a massive 5-1 win on the Central Coast.

It had plenty of goals, tension, story lines and atmosphere - which is everything you want from a derby.

Jets striker Roy O'Donovan rose to the occasion against his old team with a superb first half hat-trick, after the Mariners fans depicted him as a snake on a tifo pre-match.

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Ernie Merrick appears to have put together a good Newcastle team that looks well-organised but with plenty of quality in attacking areas.

Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Daniel Georgievski are solid additions to the back four, while a front four of O'Donovan, Andrew Nabbout, Dimi Petratos and marquee Ronald Vargas looks very dangerous.

The Mariners weren't horrible but Paul Okon might have to temper their gung-ho attacking approach if they want to have any chance of making finals.

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