A-League round 21 snapshot

Sydney FC's Adrian Mierzejewski had a standout derby match against Western Sydney Wanderers.
Sydney FC's Adrian Mierzejewski had a standout derby match against Western Sydney Wanderers.


* STAT THAT MATTERS - Ten years to the day after their first and only A-League championship, Newcastle officially cemented their spot in the finals - a first berth in eight years - with a 1-0 win over Brisbane.

* THEY SAID IT - "Bridgey (Mark Bridge) at the start of this season wanted to come to Sydney FC but we couldn't fit him in so he went back to the Wanderers." - Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold lights the Sydney derby touchpaper ahead of Sunday night's 3-1 win over Western Sydney.

* MAN OF THE ROUND - Leroy George was easily clear man of the match in Melbourne Victory's 3-0 triumph over Adelaide, with a stunning free kick and a hand in Victory's other two goals. But it's tough to go past Adrian Mierzejewski - Sydney FC's star Pole curled in a sensational free kick and then scored another against the Wanderers.

* MILESTONE - While Michael Thwaite was playing his 200th A-League match for the Wanderers, the opposition team Sydney surpassed 50 points - the sixth time in coach Graham Arnold's seven full A-League seasons his teams have done so.

* SWEET REVENGE - Neil Kilkenny made a point of celebrating in Warren Joyce's face after netting the equaliser for Perth against former club Melbourne City. Joyce, who gave City's reigning MVP 73 minutes of football in 17 rounds, before he left the club in disgust last month, claimed he didn't see Kilkenny's goal celebration. "The man ignored me," Kilkenny said afterwards. "It was one person's opinion."

* CONTROVERSY CORNER - Roar coach John Aloisi took aim at referee Stephen Lucas and assistant referee Ashley Beecham over two potentially match-turning decisions in his side's 1-0 defeat to the Jets. The club's managing director David Pourre stoked the fire, claiming the officiating was "systemic of what's actually happening, I believe, in the FFA".

* CLANGER - It's tough to beat Sydney FC goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne who was not tough to beat at all when he fumbled and spilled the ball in an attempt to gather and allowed Oriol Riera to score for the Wanderers.

* SAFE HANDS - Despite the Roar's loss, gloveman and man of the match Jamie Young was at his imperious best on Saturday with a string of first class saves to keep the Jets' attack at bay.

Australian Associated Press