A rapid first half turnaround from Western Sydney Wanderers saw them grab a 2-1 win against Melbourne City at Allianz Stadium on Monday night.

The return of a full strength squad marked most notably by the starting return of Spanish marquee Oriol Riera meant that the Wanderers opened the half with far more purpose than was seen in the passive display in the round prior.

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However it seems their injury woes are far from over as just nine minutes in Alvaro Cejudo pulled up abruptly with an injured hamstring and hobbled off the field which forced Jumpei Kusukami into the mix early.

Both sides were in contention for an opener come the midway point of the first half but it was Ross McCormack who put Melbourne City in front first.

The Scotsman’s goal came after Nathaniel Atkinson drove a hard low cross the face of goal which Janjetovic was unable to push away and McCormack was there to simply nudge it home uncontested at the far post.

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However the opening goal from the visitors did little to deter the efforts of the Wanderers who for the first time under Gombau’s management seemed invigorated after conceding.

Quick incisive passes through the midfield eventually shifted the ball wide to Raul Llorente who’s low cross found Riera inside the box.

The Spaniard marked his starting return for the Wanderers in style after taking a single touch on his left before superbly slotting the ball into the bottom right past the outstretched arms of Bouzanis to level the scores.

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The Wanderers newly found invigoration culminated into a second goal just a minute after the first was collected from the back of the net.

The goal which ultimately proved to be the decider came after Riera found space in the box before chipping a ball to find Mark Bridge skirting just inside the box who brought it down on his right before firing a pinpoint shot into the bottom right corner.

The resulting elation was suppressed shortly after when Robert Cornthwaite brought down Nick Fitzgerald with a careless tackle inside the box and awarded Melbourne City the penalty.

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Ross McCormack stepped up to the plate and fired toward the bottom right only to be denied by a diving effort from Janjetovic which denied him both brace and equaliser.

For just the second time in seven games the Wanderers saw out the half without their usual soporific efforts and were able to contest their opponents who sat perched in third spot.

The second half produced several clear-cut chances for both sides including a heart stopping 90th minute free kick strike from Luke Brattan which was fended off inches from the line by Janjetovic however Melbourne City were unable to pinch the equaliser come full time.

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Western Sydney Wanderers: 2 (RIERA 30′, BRIDGE 32′)

Melbourne City FC: 1 (MCCORMACK 25′)

ANZ Stadium: 11, 628

Western Sydney Wanderers

20. JANJETOVIC Vedran (gk), 4. RISDON Joshua, 8. BONEVACIA Rolieny, 9. RIERA Oriol, 10.CEJUDO Alvaro, 15. BACCUS Kearyn, 18. CORNTHWAITE Robert (c), 19. BRIDGE MARK, 24. LLORENTE Raul, 33. THWAITE Michael, 42. BACCUS Keanu

Substitutes: 30. HALL John (gk), 11. SANTALAB Brendon, 14. KUSUKAMI Jumpei, 22. ASPROPOTAMTIS Jonathan, 25. HERD Christopher

Melbourne City FC

  1. BOUZANIS Dean (gk), 3. JAMIESON Scott, 5. SCHENKEVELD Bart, 6. MALIK Osama, 7. FITZGERALD Nick,

Substitutes:

Referee: Peter Green

Assistant Referees: Andrej Giev & Kearney Robinson

 

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Bachelor of Journalism student from the University of Wollongong, covering Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2017/18 season.