Perth Glory have returned to the summit of the A-League, nullifying a blunt Newcastle Jets side in front of a weather-effected crowd at the McDonald Jones Stadium.
The Glory put on a Popa special, managing a 2-0 win despite facing a barrage of 21 shots and nearly 60% Newcastle possession, in comparison to the Glory’s measly four shots on goal.
In truth, Glory shot stopper Liam Reddy was hardly forced to make a key save all afternoon.
The match began in frantic style, with the Jets spurning an opportunity in the opening seconds, before the Glory rebounded through Chianese, who was subsequently fouled by Glen Moss inside the penalty area.
Midfield bull Neil Kilkenny calmly stepped up and slotted the spot-kick.
Moss was at fault again when he failed to collect a loose ball in his six-yard area, before Socceroo hopeful Jason Davidson side footed the bouncing ball into the top of the net.
With the three-points heading out west, Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory continue to bunny-hop each other on the A-League ladder, with the sides next due to meet in February.
Glen Moss- 5
Was at fault in both goals conceded. Giving away the penalty in the first minute and flapping at a loose ball for the Glory’s second goal.
Daniel Georgievski- 7
Bombed up the right flank before being switched to the left by Ernie Merrick after Hoffman’s introduction. Quality of delivery was generally good, however there were plenty of frustrated crosses in the second half.
Nigel Boogard- 5
Continuously misjudged the ball on a greasy surface and was surprisingly outmuscled by smaller players on multiple occasions. Not a brilliant display.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley- 7
Kept Andy Keogh quiet for the entire match, assisted by the Glory’s reluctance to commit numbers forward.
Ivan Vujica- 6
Subbed out for tactical reasons at 37 minutes. Didn’t play terribly but was not offering enough in attack with Glory sitting deep at times.
Steven Ugarkovic- 6.5
Made a good defensive contribution with three key interceptions but contributed nothing in attack.
Ben Kantarovski- 6
Similar to Ugarkovic, defensively decent but not good enough in assisting the Jets to penetrate the Glory defensive unit.
Smashed the post with a bullet header in the 17thminute. Could have equalised in first-half injury time but for a bad touch. Only touched the ball 22 times in his 75 minutes, not nearly enough to impact the game.
Ronald Vargas- 8
Pulled the strings as per usual but could not find the killer ball required to put scoreboard pressure on the Glory.
Dimi Petratos- 7
Saw a ton of the ball yet was unable to exert major creative influence on the Jets' attack. Looked absolutely gassed and out of ideas by the conclusion of the match.
Kaine Sheppard- 8
Showed intelligent hold up play, however the Jets' midfielders were unable to breakdown a compact Perth Glory side, resulting in very few chances for the big Englishman.
Nick Cowburn- n/a
Replaced Jair in the 75thminute.
Jason Hoffman- 6
Suprisingly subbed in for Vujica after just 37 minutes. Struggled to get into dangerous positions, however went close with a half-volley in the 83rdminute.
Matt Ridenton- 6
Replaced Kaine Sheppard in the 65thminute. Created one chance in his 25 minute cameo, but was as blunt as his teammates.
Liam Reddy- 8
Key saves in the first half. Somehow Reddy was rarely called into action despite the Jets having nearly 60% possession and taking 21 shots at goal
Dino Djulbic- 7
Stayed compact and refused to be dragged out of position. Much of this was thanks to the defensive midfielders who shielded the CB’s perfectly.
Shane Lowry- 7
Defended strongly but distribution lacked polish at just 64% pass accuracy.
Tomas Mrcela- 7
Displayed great transition into attack when he chose to do so. Sat very deep alongside Lowry and Djulbic, making no mistake when called upon.
Jason Davidson- 8
Showed his skill and experience to keep the Jets wingers quiet for the entire match. Was clearly under instruction not to commit too high up the pitch. A solid defensive effort and contributed with the all-important second goal.
Neil Kilkenny- 8
Scored a 3rd minute penalty after a chaotic start, and marshalled his side with precision to ensure a Glory clean sheet and the 3 points.
Brandon Wilson- 8
Stayed extremely compact and disciplined alongside Kilkenny in the holding midfield role. Played a big role in keeping the Jets attack quiet despite their possession dominance.
Ivan Franjic- 7
Hardly pushed up into any sort of threatening position. Not a beautiful performance by any measure but got the job done.
Joel Chianese- 6
Played his part by winning the penalty in the opening minute of the contest, however was largely uninvolved throughout the rest of the match.
Chris Ikonomidis- 7
Driving runs up the left flank but frustrated by his team’s lack of desire in attack. Will be disappointed to have not shown more with Graham Arnold watching on from the stands.
Andy Keogh- 6
Isolated for most of the game as the Glory decided to park the bus. Should use his physical strength to better effect in order to keep possession and allow his side to get higher up the pitch.
Brendan Santalab- 6
Replaced Keogh in the 77thminute.
Fabio Ferreira- 6
Replaced Chianese in the 70thminute.
Jake Brimmer- 6
Replaced Brandon Wilson in the 65thminute. No major contributions.