With the coronavirus lingering, the salary cap slashed and players heading for the exit, it had been tipped that the 2020-21 A-League season would be different. But few probably expected it to be like this.
Even the most pessimistic of Melbourne Victory fans and sanguine of Central Coast Mariners supporters would likely have dismissed a scenario in late December in which the former was anchored to the bottom of the table and mired in an existential crisis, while the latter soared to its summit.
This unpredictability extends from 2020-21’s macro to its micro: The A-League season producing an outsized number of extraordinary, frantic and entertaining fixtures across its opening months.
Yet despite the parity that has engulfed the league, some have found a way to shine. Here is the best of the best so far.