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A-League: Five things we learnt from Matchday 3

Matchday 3 of the A-League threw up plenty of talking points, as Melbourne City got a win at the third time of asking and the last two remaining 100% records came to an end.

Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United drew 1-1 to end each other’s perfect records and they have been joined on seven points by Wellington Phoenix and Macarthur FC.

Meanwhile, at the wrong end of the table, Sydney FC and Central Coast Mariners have now lost three out of three, with the former having yet to even find the back of the net after three games.

Reds and Victory play out fiery draw

Neither Melbourne Victory nor Adelaide United will be too worried that they were unable to stretch their winning runs to three games, as they played out a 1-1 draw at AAMI Park.

The game was certainly not without incident, with both sides finishing with ten men, leaving Victory head coach Tony Popovic feeling that his side had given an "outstanding display".

Adelaide boss Carl Veart was disappointed but also accepting of a point, admitting "overall, most of the night they were the better team than us".

Both managers will be well aware that the pressure will stay high if they maintain their positions at the top of the table and cooler heads will be needed as the season progresses, with the Reds 6.50 to be crowned Grand Final champions.

Vidmar makes winning City start

Having lost their first two games, Melbourne City sent head coach Rado Vidosic packing and the change seemed to do the trick as the Blues got a win on the board in their first match under the charge of Aurelio Vidmar.

Goals from Steven Ugarkovic and Jamie Maclaren secured a 2-0 home win over crisis-torn Sydney FC, with Vidmar saying afterwards: "There's still a lot of things that we need to work on, but very happy, very pleased with the performance."

The morale boost will be most welcome, with City's next two fixtures seeing them take on Macarthur FC and Wellington Phoenix, who have both taken seven points from a possible nine from their opening three fixtures.

The main downside for Vidmar as his players will have been that a crowd of just 5,303 turned up to see City - 4.50 to win the Grand Final - register a victory at AAMI Park on Friday.

Corica's Sydney remain scoreless

While City were able to celebrate getting back on track after a sticky start, the same could certainly not be said of their victims, Sydney FC, who are now 1.80 to finish in the Top 6.

Head coach Steve Corica is surely under pressure to stay in post after his team not only lost for the third game in a row, but also failed to get on the scoresheet for the third consecutive match.

The former Socceroo refused to be too downbeat and felt his side had played quite well overall, while also admitting: "We're definitely missing something at the moment. If you look at the game, there's just individual errors. So, firstly you have to fix those mistakes."

A trip to table-toppers Adelaide United is next, before a derby showdown with Western Sydney Wanderers comes up in late November and a change in fortunes will be needed in those two games, otherwise Corica's position may be all but untenable.

Champions Mariners still pointless

Central Coast Mariners are finding things as tough as Sydney, with the reigning A-League champions also pointless after three successive losses, the most recent being a 2-0 reverse at Perth Glory.

Goals have been a massive problem, with just one scored across those three defeats, with the departures of Jason Cummings, Samuel Silvera and Beni Nkololo having left a massive hole in the Mariners' attacking plans.

Head coach Mark Jackson is clearly struggling to try and repeat the success enjoyed last season under Nick Montgomery and he issued a strong signal that moves into the transfer market may be necessary when the window opens again.

He told reporters: "We need players to step up. I challenge every forward player in the squad. I've got to be honest, we're not seeing it at the minute."

The Mariners have now drifted to 11.00 to win a second successive Grand Final.

Zawada rising for Phoenix

Wellington Phoenix were not expected to challenge this season after an off-season of change at the club, but coach Giancarlo Italiano has overseen the club's best-ever start to an A-league season, with Polish striker Oskar Zawada the undoubted star.

The 27-year-old netted 15 league goals in his first season with the Nix and took his tally to four already this season with a hat-trick in the 5-2 victory over Brisbane Roar.

If the former Wolfsburg youngster can continue in that manner, Wellington can keep proving their doubters wrong, with Zawada 4.33 to be A-League Top goalscorer this season.

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