Babbel: no big difference between Sydney and European derbies

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Western Sydney Wanderers’ coach Markus Babbel says there isn’t a big difference between Sydney and European derby atmospheres.

Babbel is no stranger to derby encounters, having famously scored for Liverpool in their 2001 last-gasp 3-2 defeat of cross-town rivals Everton.

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The Wanderers clung onto a 1-0 lead to end Sydney FC’s 980-day derby reign in front of 28,519 spirited fans who packed into their new Parramatta fortress.

Babbel, a 51-time German international who spent more than 15 years plying his trade in the Bundesliga and English Premier League, did not hold back in his praise of the Red and Black faithful.

“There was not a big difference,” he said.

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“The only difference is in the derbies I played there were double the amount of people in the stadium.

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“What our supporters did is fantastic. Especially when you are struggling, you need (their) help.”

Babbel praised the fans and said the club had come together again and it was an important step.

“To know that we are a union will help us a long way to where we want to go,” he said.

“We need them (the fans). Without them, it is very difficult to come and win this way.”

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Despite suffering a heartbreaking loss to end the Sky Blue’s record of 980 days without a derby defeat, Sydney’s coach Steve Corica was similarly impressed by the occasion.

“I thought the pitch was good, the stadium is great, and the fans were great,” he said.

“It was physical, there were plenty of tackles flying in and everyone was passionate about the game.

“It was a top derby, just with the wrong result…other than that, all in all it was a good night.”

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As their derby reign came to an end last night, Sydney now have to wait until February before they can attempt to recapture bragging rights.

Meanwhile, Babbel’s Wanderers are sitting pretty atop the A-League ladder, enjoying the most successful start to a season in their history.

Feature image credit: Steve Christo

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Chris Curulli
Passionate Sports Media student and all round football obsessive, covering the Western Sydney Wanderers for the 2019/20 season.