Dominant Sydney rout Wanderers 4-0
Photo Source: AAP
Western Sydney's A-League derby drought will surpass three years after Sydney FC soared to an emphatic 4-0 victory to leave their crosstown rivals empty-handed yet again.
The Sky Blues ran rampant in front of a record crowd of 61,880 at ANZ Stadium, where former Besiktas teammates Bobo and Filip Holosko seamlessly scored the first two goals before whizzkid Brandon O'Neill executed an exquisite 85th-minute free-kick and substitute Alex Brosque completed the rout with one minute remaining.
It was the biggest Sydney derby win in the fixture's history and means the Wanderers will have gone winless for three years and three days by the time they get another chance on January 14.
Saturday was a rowdy and entertaining night brimming with class and magnificent displays from Sky Blues goalkeeper Danny Vukovic and wriggling Wanderers winger Jumpei Kusukami.
But it belonged to the Sky Blues, who were rampant and irrepressible, their clever movement and slick delivery too much for Tony Popovic's men.
Sydney had the better run from the start as Western Sydney lacked the midfield composure Andreu had provided last season.
The battle came to life on 30 minutes when Robert Cornthwaite clattered into Bobo and instigated an old-fashioned melee.
The towering centre-back got to the ball, but was lucky not to have been sent off for the challenge, which earned him a yellow card.
Scott Neville and David Carney copped the same for their role in the aftermath, in which a livid Popovic exchanged verbals with Sydney's coaching staff.
If anything, the flashpoint sparked the Wanderers and they came on the counter with venom.
They were closest to scoring on the tick of halftime when Mitch Nichols nipped a death backheel into the path of Jumpei.
He dinked a swift ball to Kerem Bulut, who dragged wide and was denied again soon after by Vukovic in one of many superb saves by the former Melbourne Victory gloveman.
Jumpei's classy display provided a mouth-watering preview of the creativity the Japanese flyer will bring this season with marauding solo runs and a string of nutmegs.
But Sydney took the spoils in the second half.
Carney lofted a sumptuous curler for Milos Ninkov to outdo Wanderers defender Aritz Borda with the slightest of touches for Holosko to lash home.
Zullo then showed his worth with a lofted cross to Holosko who skilfully kept the ball in play and volleyed towards goalmouth.
Bobo, surrounded by three sleeping Wanderers defenders, was the only one to anticipate the move.
With a classic tap-in, Western Sydney were breached again.
Nichols came closest to kickstarting a Wanderers comeback only to be denied in a one-on-one with Vukovic.
Any glimmer of hope was dashed when Borda was red-carded for bringing down Brosque on the edge of the box, paving the way for O'Neill's stunner before the skipper poked home the fourth.
Both coaches agreed the scoreline did not quite reflect the contest.
"We have to accept it's 4-0 but it certainly wasn't a 4-0 game," Popovic said.
"They played the big moments better.
"We had our chances, we didn't take them - they took theirs and goals change games."
Arnold described the scoreless first half as an arm wrestle.
"It was a typical derby, it was physical," he said.
"I thought we controlled good parts of the first half."