When it rains it pours in Australian football.
After being dragged through the mud the week before, the players responded on the field – well those who were able to play – in the best possible way.
Overseas, Inter climbed to the top of the table with an emphatic derby win– while Barcelona saw off Real Betis in a five goal thriller after both sides were reduced to ten men.
The ‘City fail to rise to the occasion’ headline had already been written.
A failure to take a major scalp coupled with the absence of Harrison Delbridge and Jack Hendry did not give City fans much optimism heading into the game.
But Erick Mombaerts had a plan and his side executed it perfectly.
City sat back with Josh Brillante and Rostyn Griffiths alternating in defence, while Florin Berenguer was given free roam in the midfield – where he opened the scoring in the eighth minute.
Meanwhile, Jamie Maclaren scored his 14th goal of the season after a clever backheel assist from Berenguer.
While City’s inconsistency has been a cause for concern, this win adds weight to its push for silverware this season – acting as proof the side is capable of lifting in big games.
Brisbane’s push for finals received a significant boost at the weekend after coming from behind to defeat an in-form Adelaide United.
The Reds opened the scoring through a Ben Halloran thunderbolt before the Roar hit back with two unlikely goal scorers.
Mirza Muratovic’s debut A-League goal drew the Roar level before captain Tom Aldred scored the winner from a corner in the 74th minute.
Brisbane is making a strong case for themselves, having only dropped one game since the bye seven weeks ago and have jumped into the top six ahead of next week’s trip to Ballarat to face Western United.
The stage was set for another Inter bottle job.
Down two-nil at half-time in the final Milan derby at the San Siro with an opportunity to end the round on top of the table – the tale was beginning to look all too familiar.
But a wonder-goal from Marcelo Brozovic sparked Inter into action as Matias Vecino followed soon after with a goal of his own to equalise just two minutes later – spurring the side on to stage an emphatic comeback.
Inter took the lead in the 70th minute through Stefan de Vrij – whose glancing header flew into the top left corner – before a stoppage time Romelu Lukaku goal sealed a famous derby win to see Inter finish the round on top of Serie A ahead of a mouth-watering clash with Lazio next Monday.
The Victory have crashed back to earth after a derby loss as Carlos Salvachua continues to search for his first league win as the club’s head coach.
Despite coming in as favourites, the Victory were outplayed in the middle of the park with City exploiting the side’s issues in midfield which saw Florin Berenguer almost drift unnoticed for most of the match.
Salvachua was applauded for his audacious move in bringing on both Marco Rojas and Robbie Kruse in the second half, though the move proved costly as the latter limped off six minutes before fulltime with a hamstring injury – which will see the Socceroo miss six-to-eight weeks of football.
With only days turn things around – ahead of their Champions League campaign – the Victory may have to make a difficult decision as to whether they sacrifice the league for a genuine run in Asia.
It’s not often Juve makes it onto this side of the list.
A loss away to Hellas Verona has not only seen them relegated to this section of the piece but replaced on top of the table.
For the first time in a long time Juventus have been presented with worthy contenders to the thrown – with Inter and Lazio proving a nuisance to the Old Lady at the top of Serie A.
Despite Cristiano Ronaldo opening the scoring in the 65th minute, Verona hit back through Fabio Borini and super-sub Giampaolo Pazzini to record a famous win which sees them jump to sixth on the table.
Yokohama F Marinos
When people say anything can happen in a penalty shoot-out – they really do mean everything.
With the Japanese Super Cup between Yokohama and Andreas Iniesta’s Vissel Kobe locked at two-all after 90 minutes the match was taken to penalties to decide the winner.
Nine penalties were taken and missed before Kobe’s Hotaru Yamaguchi scored the only and winning penalty to secure the win for his side – with Yokohama failing to convert all five of its penalties.