Sydney FC disappointed not to have scored more in the derby

They sent their fans into raptures, they sunk their rivals into the depths of despair but Sydney FC players weren’t rushing to pop open bottles of champagne after their clean sweep over Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday night.
Nanjing Night Net

The Sky Blues inflicted a record A-League defeat of their rivals with a commanding 5-0 win at ANZ Stadium but while the players were pleased with the result, there was no hiding their disappointment at having not scored more. It was the “ruthless” performance Graham Arnold called for in his pre-match talk as Sydney tore the Wanderers apart away from home, carving open chances with ease as they left Western Sydney’s defence in tatters.

Their rout of the Wanderers was the highest winning margin of any team thus far this season and the heaviest defeat in Western Sydney’s domestic history but Sydney FC were bemoaning missed chances and a controversial decision that denied them an even more one-sided result.

“We still think it could have been six, it could have been seven, it could have been eight,” midfielder Brandon O’Neill said. “That was the message after the game, we still think there are areas we could improve on … it was good but it could have been better.”

Sydney FC were perhaps unfortunate to have a goal disallowed by the Video Assistant Referee after Michael Zullo’s impressive strike was ruled out after a handball was noticed in the build-up, some five passes earlier and well before a critical moment leading to the goal. While a clear handball from Sydney FC’s Adrian Mierzejewski, it brought into question the manner of use for the VAR, which was not meant to re-referee the game but only to eradicate referee blunders.

It failed to take the gloss off Mierzejewski who scored two goals and played a pivotal role in a third in a stellar performance in his first Sydney Derby. The Polish international opened the scoring in the 14th minute before doubling his tally with a curling free-kick on the stroke of half-time. Mierzejewski spent hours practising his set pieces at training before the derby and says he’s as dangerous from distance as the penalty spot.

“I think it’s my good side, I know how to score free kicks,” he said. “I was training with [Sydney FC defender] Jordy [Buijs] and to be honest every free kick was a goal, it’s like penalties for us. I know the last goal against the Wanderers, Brandon scored an amazing free kick but I know it’s my place on the pitch and I knew that I’d score. That’s why I’m working hard and training to be ready for this. I am just waiting for more free kicks.”

While Mierzejewski posed a constant threat from dead balls, Bobo, Alex Brosque and Zullo were denied late goals by a string of fine saves from Wanderers goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic who was one of the best performers on Saturday night, according to Mierzejewski.

“He conceded five goals but he could still be man of the game,” he said.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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