In a top of the table clash, Western Sydney really stamped their 2015-16 credentials as they managed a 2-0 win over Melbourne Victory at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday night. The win sees the Wanderers take sole possession of first place and gain some space from the chasing pack.
Things started well for Western Sydney and they could well have hit the lead in the seventh minute after some good work from Mitch Nichols. Nichols held up the ball well and released Mark Bridge who ran in to space and looked to open up the angle but his second touch was poor, sending it wide of goal.
Victory was left frustrated in the 11th minute as they probably should have had a penalty after a good run from Besart Berisha. He ran in to the Wanderers area, and was pulled back by Alberto Aguilar, going to ground, only for the referee to wave play on.
An error in the 17th minute gave Melbourne Victory a way in to the match as Andrew Redmayne spilled the ball. That fell right in to the path of Daniel Georievski sent the ball in to the Berisha at the far post whose header bounced off the crossbar and down, allowing Western Sydney to clear.
The good run from Melbourne Victory continued as they kept on running and in the 24th minute was inches away. Kosta Barbarouses sent a through ball for Berisha, whose back heel returned it to Barbarouses but his shot was cleared off the line by Bridge.
The Wanderers had a god chance in the 38th minute as Romeo Castelen was played through in close range but his effort was blocked by Matthieu Delpierre. In the final minute of the half they had another chance as Dario Vidosic found Castelen who controlled and shot but was denied by a Vukovic save to keep it scoreless at the half.
It took just three minutes for the first chance in the second half as the Wanderers went up for a penalty appeal. Castelen ran in to the box before seeing his run impeded by Fahid Ben Khalfallah but again the referee waved away the appeal.
But five minutes later Western Sydney did get the lead and they did not need a set piece to do so. _ Neville was able to release Castelen down the right hand side of the pitch allowing him to cross home for Bridge who easily tapped it home from close range to give the hosts a deserved lead.
Just after the hour mark it could well have been two after a great Scott Jamieson corner set it up. His ball came in and found _ Andreu who was able to chip over Vukovic who was running back and looked beat but Andreu’s effort clipped the crossbar and went out.
In the 77th minute Victory nearly had an equalizer thanks to a stunning counter lead by Barbarouses and Oliver Bozanic. The two managed some beautiful football to get the ball in the box to Connor Pain whose effort was denied by an Andrew Redmayne save.
The champions were made to pay for that missed chance as Western Sydney sealed the match just two minutes later. Castelen ran down the right, beat his marker and then shot powerfully, off the keeper and in to the back of the net, to wrap up the 2-0 win.