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Australian Football: Takeaways from Matchday 21

The A-League will now take a break for a week due to international fixtures but it left us with plenty to ponder following an intriguing Matchday 21.

Melbourne City have seen their lead cut to just four points following a 1-1 draw with Macarthur FC but they still have a game in hand on their rivals.

Adelaide United are no doubt the side to watch at the moment as they closed the gap on City and dented Wellington Phoenix’s top-two hopes with a crushing 5-1 win.

Western Sydney got revenge on Sydney FC with a thumping 4-0 win at Allianz Stadium in the derby clash, while the Central Coast Mariners slipped up with a 2-0 defeat away at Melbourne Victory.

In the other fixtures Brisbane Roar picked up a crucial three points at the bottom of the ladder as they stopped Western United in their tracks with a 1-0 win, while Newcastle Jets and Perth Glory fought out a 1-1 draw.

So as we head into the international break, let's take a look at the main takeaways from Matchday 21.

Corica back under pressure

Sydney FC coach Steve Corica is back under pressure following a humiliating 4-0 home defeat against Western Sydney in the derby on Saturday.

Corica has been feeling the heat for some time following a difficult 18 months or so, but appeared to have turned a corner earlier in the season as the Sky Blues strung together three wins on the bounce.

One of those was against the Wanderers, but now they have slipped back into their old ways. 

Defence has been the issue this season and their flaws were highlighted by a rampant Wanderers side that were still fired up after what happened in the last meeting.

Corica will also be cursing his luck on the injury front. It is no real coincidence that Sydney have slumped since in-form striker Adam Le Fondre picked up a hamstring injury in the win over the Wanderers last month.

Sydney sit in sixth still and are very lucky that none of the teams below them have managed to get their act together and jump over them.

If Sydney miss out on finals again then that could spell the end of Corica, but some have suggested he is on very thin ice and could go before then.

Sydney are priced at 1.72 to make the top six.

Related Australian Football News

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Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix

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Adelaide are on fire

Adelaide continue to go from strength to strength and their 5-1 drubbing of Wellington Phoenix shows they are right in the mix to win the Grand Final this season.

They are four points behind Melbourne, who have played a game less, but can still be backed at 17.00 to win the minor premiership, while Carl Veart's side are 5.50 to win the Grand Final and on this form have a great shout.

They have now scored 21 goals in the last six games and are the A-League entertainers.

Craig Goodwin is also bang in form with a goal and two assists against Phoenix. Next up is a mouth-watering clash against third place Western Sydney Wanderers.

This game has high-scoring thriller written all over it after the Wanderers hammered Sydney 4-0 at the weekend.

Victory keep top six hopes alive

Melbourne Victory are priced at 8.00 to make the top six despite sitting bottom of the ladder. A massive 2-0 win over Central Coast Mariners at the weekend means they sit six points away from the top six and also have a game in hand.

If they can get on a run then they have every chance of pulling it off. However, consistency has been an issue for Tony Popovic's men all season. They just cannot seem to string results together.

They have very winnable games against Perth Glory, Macarthur and Brisbane to come, plus tougher encounters against Wellington Phoenix and Western Sydney.

It is achievable but it depends what Melbourne Victory turns up week in, week out. It will also require other results to go their way.

But the fact that people are talking about it suggests that Victory could be in with a chance of making a late charge. Then once in the finals, anything can happen.

Next up is a clash against Wellington Phoenix and, following their drubbing against Adelaide, it could be a good or bad time to play them depending on which way you look at it.

Victory have not won back-to-back games all season so now would be a good time to start.

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