A 60 second double salvo and a saved penalty was enough to give the Western Sydney Wanderers a much needed win over Melbourne City tonight at Homebush.
With the so called "pressure" of the media on the Wanderers after a poor performance against Newcastle, the Wanderers responded to an early goal against the run of play from Ross McCormack with a brace in a minute via marquee Oriol Riera & Wanderers stalwart Mark Bridge.
The 25th minute goal came after a heap of Wanderers pressure on the city goal, Nathan Atkinson hammered a cross from the wing deep into the Wanderers penalty area. The ball evaded Raul Llorente, Robbie Cornthwaite & Vedran Janjetovic, and McCormack was in at the back post to take advantage of Josh Risdon's ballwatching to tap the ball home.
The early setback did little to dampen the enthusiasm of the home side, and they hit back and took the lead not more than 5 minutes later. The first came from the fruitful Llorente & Riera combination, a deflected cross found the marquee striker's left foot, he took one touch to get the ball away from ex-Wanderers Iacopo La Rocca, then fired on the turn through the legs of La Rocca & past another ex-Wanderer in Dean Bouzanis in the Melbourne City goal.
The home supporters had barely finished celebrating the first before they were celebrating going ahead. Riera was once again instrumental, he managed to wriggle the ball clear of the City defence & send it out wide to Bridge for an unerringly accurate shot again to the far post.
At the other end Robbie Cornthwaite gave away a soft penalty in the 39th minute with Peter Green deciding that the Wanderers Captain fouled yet another ex-Wanderer in Scott Jamieson, inside the penalty box. Ross McCormack stepped up in an attempt to add another to his penalty spot tally, Janjetovic flew low to his left and palmed the ball away from goal to safety.
Melbourne City tried in vain to penetrate the Wanderers defence once more, but found themselves on the end of desperate & heroic defence from Josep Gombau's men. A final chance was given away late with a 25 yard free kick, Luke Brattan fired low under the wall but Janjetovic made another crucial stop to secure the victory.
The win puts Western Sydney within striking distance of the top 6, and with a game in hand, a run of wins over similarly placed opposition in the next few weeks could even see them challenge for a top 4 position.