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A-League snapshot for round 20

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 19/02/2017 Emma Kemp

* THEY SAID IT - "We like to build people up, inflate them as much as possible and then throw darts at them." - Melbourne Victory coach Kevin Muscat laments the amount of scrutiny golden boot leader Besart Berisha is subjected to. The Albanian striker's brace against Central Coast took his season tally to 16 goals.

* STAT THAT MATTERS - 1134 - the number of days between Sydney derby wins for the Wanderers before they finally sent Sydney FC to their first defeat of the season on Saturday night.

* MAN OF THE ROUND - James Troisi was superb for Melbourne Victory but it's hard to go past Sydney derby hero Brendon Santalab. The Western Sydney veteran striker executed his 26th-minute winner with remarkable composure at ANZ Stadium. A case in point why he should be a regular starter.

* SAFE HANDS - Danny Vukovic single-handedly kept Sydney in the derby with several remarkable saves to deny Jaushua Sotirio, Mitch Nichols and Nico Martinez. Not to take away from former teammate Vedran Janjetovic, who made an outstanding double save against Bobo in the Wanderers' goal.

* CONTROVERSY CORNER - Sydney FC had three penalty shouts but the last was clear cut. Robbie Cornthwaite can thank his lucky stars referee Chris Beath made a mistake in not awarding the Sky Blues an injury-time spot kick and a chance to equalise after the defender tripped Alex Brosque in the box.

* UNDER PRESSURE - Newcastle had a prime opportunity to keep their finals push going but were sloppy and edged 1-0 by struggling Adelaide. Mark Jones' men sit seventh, three points behind the Wanderers with seven games remaining.

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