Sydney FC are having a historically great start to the Hyundai A-League season and the Champions put the exclamation point on an all-time record with a 5-1 hammering of Brisbane Roar.
A sensational display of free flowing football showcased the creative skills and clinical finishing of their fantastic front four - Alexander Baumjohann, Milos Ninkovic, Kosta Barbarouses and Adam Le Fondre - at Nestrata Jubilee Stadium on Saturday.
Never in their history have the four-time Champions won seven of their opening eight games. It’s not only the results that have smashed club records but the nature of their devastating forward play which is courting comparisons with the finest Sky Blues teams of yesteryear.
Graham Arnold’s 2016/17 side, who were inspired by Ninkovic, Filip Holosko, Alex Brosque and Bobo, had collected two fewer points, 19, and scored three fewer goals, 18, at this stage of the season.
A season later they replaced Holosko with Adrian Mierzejewski and landed the same 19 points from eight games, scoring a mere 14 goals. The inaugural Champions and the 2009/10 Premiers only had 13 points on the board at this stage, and had scored nine and 14 goals respectively. The current team has 21 points and have scored 21 goals.
Arnold’s 2016/17 juggernaut went on to stack up a league-record 66 points, scoring 55 goals at an average of 2 per game. At current pace, Corica’s charges would net a mammoth 70 goals at 2.6 per game.
Nobody is guaranteeing the reigning Champions can maintain this stunning form over a 27-match season, but Head Coach Corica believes the Sky Blues still have gears to go through.
Asked if he thought the Roar thumping was their best performance of the season, Corica said: “If you look at the goals, yes. I think we’ve played better at times.
“The game we lost against the Wanderers, I think we dominated that, except for we conceded the one goal.
“It’s getting better and there’s still improvement [to be made].”
“We’re pleased with where we are the moment but there’s still a long way to go and we’ve got more important matches to come.”
Milos Ninkovic had been a constant presence through Sydney FC’s most dominant Hyundai A-League period and the Serbian believes the current side still have work to do to match Arnold’s line-up.
“It’s hard for me to say if it is the best team if you look at the past four or five years, but it is really a joy to play with this team,” Ninkovic said.
“I reckon three years ago when we broke all these records I think we were better with the ball, more dangerous with the ball and pressed up high.”
“But now I think we are more dangerous without the ball and every time I have the feeling when we go forward we can score the goal.”