Are these the players to help Sydney go back-to-back?

Sydney FC became the third A-League champions to win their first match of their title defence, as an own goal from Thomas Deng gifted the Sky Blues a 1-0 victory over Melbourne Victory in front of over 24,000 at Etihad Stadium. Graham Arnold and Johnny Warren Medal winner Milos Ninkovic both said in pre-season that his side is better than the team that loss just one match last season, and he may be right. There were a lot of great players across the board but these five really stood out for the defending champs.

Adrian Mierzejewski

  • 74 touches
  • 47 passes
  • 12 duels won
  • Six fouls won
  • Three shots on goal

Josh Brillante

  • 75 touches
  • 59 passes (81.4 per cent accuracy)
  • Eight duels won
  • Six tackles
  • Three interceptions
  • One foul won
  • One shot

Paulo Retre

  • 92 touches
  • 54 passes
  • Five duels won
  • Four crosses
  • Four clearances
  • Two tackles won
  • One chance created

Alex Wilkinson

  • 56 touches
  • 40 passes (85 per cent accuracy)
  • 13 clearances
  • One interception
  • One duel won
  • One chance created
  • Zero fouls conceded

Milos Ninkovic

  • 79 touches
  • 51 passes
  • Six duels won
  • Five chances created
  • Five interceptions
  • Three fouls won
  • Three tackles won

New signings Adrian Mierzejewski and Paulo Retre will only get better with more game time. While Ninkovic, Brilliante, Brandon O’Neill, Alex Brosque and the like seemed to have continued where they started last season. Which can only be an ominous warning to the rest of the competition.

While we’re only one game into the season Sydney didn’t look too different from the team that conquered the 2016-17 A-League season. The Sky Blues will be tipped to make it two wins from two when they face Wellington at home next week.

The Victory will have a bit of work to do however, they have another big match this time a Melbourne Derby against a Tim Cahill-led City outfit fresh off a 2-0 win over Brisbane.

Kickscribe Player Ratings

-3 Adrian Mierzejewski

-2 Paulo Retre

-1 Alex Wilkinson

Thomas Deng became just the fourth player to sore an own goal in a Big Blue, can you think of the other three? Test your knowledge below.

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