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Spotlight on slumping A-League sides

NZN 11/12/2016 Vince Rugari

Sydney FC remain unbeaten on top of the A-League but the blowtorch is firing up on some faltering title aspirants.

Western Sydney Wanderers and Perth Glory will spend the week figuring out what went wrong after copping demoralising defeats at the weekend.

For the second time in four weeks, the Wanderers were trounced 3-0 by Melbourne Victory, their defensive frailties punished by a rampant Besart Berisha, who returned to form with a brilliant hat-trick at ANZ Stadium.

Coach Tony Popovic maintains there's nothing wrong with his side's performances but that argument may be starting to ring hollow with frustrated Wanderers supporters who want results, not reassurance.

They're languishing at sixth on the ladder with just two wins, and are a whopping 13 points behind arch-rivals Sydney.

The Glory, who sit one point above the Wanderers and came into the season with similarly high hopes, were booed by their own fans after a woeful first half against Newcastle and suffered a 2-1 loss - their first to the Jets at home in more than a decade.

Perth boss Kenny Lowe chalked it up to an "off night", while his counterpart Mark Jones dared to dream of a potential finals run from his side if they can produce more displays of that character.

Sydney and Melbourne City fought out a frenetic 1-1 draw on Friday night, marked by two controversial moments that are still fuelling debate - Bobo's studs-up challenge on Ivan Franjic, and the latest instance of A-League play-acting from Fernando Brandan.

Only two teams in A-League history have matched the Sky Blues in making it through the first 10 rounds undefeated - Adelaide United (2010-11) and Melbourne Victory (2014-15).

Hopes of a Reds revival after last week's maiden win of the season were shattered on Sunday, with Guillermo Amor's men outclassed 4-0 by Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium.

Adelaide struggled for fluency and the Roar took full advantage, with former Danish international Thomas Kristensen continuing his good form with two goals in the space of three first-half minutes.

It puts the Roar neck-and-neck on the ladder with third-placed Victory, who have a game in hand.

Meanwhile, Wellington began life after Ernie Merrick on a positive note, climbing off the bottom of the ladder with a 3-0 whitewash of a depleted Central Coast in Hamilton.

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