Stats review: How Hyundai A-League history smiles on Perth's seven-point advantage
Perth Glory's wait for Hyundai A-League silverware looks set to come to an end, and history is on their side.
Tony Popovic's men moved seven points clear atop the table after an impressive 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Sunday.
With nine rounds remaining and their buffer at the top, Perth are on track to win their first Premiers' Plate.
Thanks to Opta data, we take a look at what a seven-point gap means at this time of the season and assess the rest of Round 18's highlights.
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High-flying Perth set for silverware after ending multiple waits
Perth are the eighth team in Hyundai A-League history to hold a lead of at least seven points through 18 rounds.
And it will take a history-making collapse or run from one of their rivals to deny Perth the Premiers' Plate.
All seven previous teams to have been at least seven points clear through 18 rounds have gone on to finish top of the table, most recently Sydney FC in 2016/17 and 2017/18.
To add to that, five of those seven have then won the Hyundai A-League Grand Final, with the Central Coast Mariners (2011/12) and Adelaide United (2005/06) the exceptions.
Perth Glory can dare to dream and rightly so, as they are proving almost unstoppable this season.
For the first time since 2009, the league leaders claimed three straight wins over Victory.
It extended their unbeaten run to nine matches, their best in the Hyundai A-League since they went on a 10-game streak in 2014/15.
Neil Kilkenny's penalty and a Diego Castro goal were enough for Perth, who held on despite Kosta Barbarouses' late strike.
Barbarouses’ goal denied Perth another record as it was the first time they had conceded in just over seven and a half hours of football, including ending a four-game streak.
That denied Glory a record-equalling fifth straight clean sheet – which has been achieved five times – but their run was the best since 2016/17.
Kilkenny now has five league goals this season – a career-high. It bettered the mark of four he set for Leeds United in 2008/09 and Oldham Athletic in 2004/05, both in League One.
Jets, Phoenix set woodwork record in thrilling draw
The Newcastle Jets and Wellington Phoenix played out an entertaining 1-1 draw, and set a record in the process.
The teams managed to hit the woodwork five times, the most in a single Hyundai A-League game since Opta started keeping the stat in 2012/13.
David Williams cancelled out Ronald Vargas' opener for the Jets, but the Phoenix were denied a late winner, with Wellington now holding just two wins from their past 15 away league matches.
Jets goalkeeper Glen Moss saved his 10th penalty in the Hyundai A-League by denying Roy Krishna, moving ahead of Ante Covic for most spot-kicks stopped in the competition.
There have now been 12 penalties missed this season, which is the equal most – with 2016/17 – in a campaign since Opta started keeping that particular stat.
Adelaide equal run from glory days
The last time Adelaide United were on a run like this they were Hyundai A-League Champions.
A 1-1 draw against Melbourne City saw the Reds extend their unbeaten league run to five, a milestone they reached for the first time since winning the Championship in 2015/16.
While Jamie Maclaren marked his City debut with a goal to cancel out Craig Goodwin's opener, the Reds avoided defeat in this fixture at AAMI Park for the first time in four.
The next step is a win over City, who are now unbeaten in six matches against Adelaide and had Eugene Galekovic make a 279th Hyundai A-League appearance, which is the most by a goalkeeper and fourth most in the competition’s history.
Roar finally end wait with upset win
Brisbane Roar's 12-match winless run is finally over.
A surprise 2-1 victory over Sydney FC saw Roar return to winning ways, beating the Sky Blues for just the fourth time in their past 15 matches.
After Tobias Mikkelsen cancelled out Daniel De Silva's opener, Dylan Wenzel-Halls scored a tremendous 90th-minute winner, earning Brisbane a first home win since November last year.
The result also marked the first time since March 2014 that Sydney have lost back-to-back away games.
Bonevacia runs the show as Wanderers set new Mariners mark
Roly Bonevacia helped Western Sydney beat Central Coast 2-0, marking the first time the Wanderers have won four straight Hyundai A-League games against the Mariners.
The attacker created seven chances – the next most on the pitch was two – as the Wanderers won back-to-back games at Spotless Stadium for the first time since October 2017.
Tarek Elrich scored his first league goal since February 2017 and Jaushua Sotirio sealed Western Sydney's win, handing the Mariners a ninth straight away defeat.