A group of Sydney FC old boys have come back to haunt their former club as Western Sydney steamrolled their way past their arch-rivals for a 4-0 A-League Men win.
Milos Ninkovic, who controversially swapped the city’s east for the west in the off-season, set up two goals on Saturday, including his side’s third of the night which fell to Calem Nieuwenhof.
The 22-year-old midfielder was another casualty of a roster cleanout by Steve Corica and his goal condemned the Sky Blues to their biggest defeat in this fixture’s history.
Kusini Yengi had opened the scoring for the Wanderers at Allianz Stadium and the man who set him up – Tunisian international Amor Layouni – grabbed a double.
The result lifts Marko Rudan’s men to third spot on the table and leaves Corica’s side in perilous danger of dropping out of the finals spaces with five games of the regular season left.
The beef between Rudan and Corica, whose side edged the last derby 1-0, had dominated the build-up to the game.
Sydney rode their luck that night but this time they had no such fortune, with the Wanderers dominating from start to finish.
Yengi looked in ominous touch throughout and he started and finished his side’s opener in the 13th minute by picking the ball up inside his own half before relaying it to Brandon Borrello.
With his back to goal, Borrello laid off a sumptuous pass to an on-rushing Layouni, who bore down on goal and squared it to Yengi who finished with ease.
The 24-year-old wheeled away before taking his shirt off and holding it up in taunt towards the Sydney fans behind the goal.
More woe was to come for Sydney when centre back James Donachie limped off with a hamstring injury and Jack Rodwell, who was released by the Wanderers last season, was brought on as his replacement.
Almost immediately Western Sydney pressed forward and Ninkovic did the damage, drawing the Sky Blues’ defence out of shape before playing in Layouni for their second of the night.
The Wanderers were flying and their confidence was so infectious that left back Adama Traore threw in a few Cruyff turns for good measure.
Nieuwenhof was at the heart of everything and was pulling all the strings in the midfield after halftime.
As Ninkovic went driving forward he teed the ball off to Nieuwenhof who unleashed a shot that Redmayne was powerless to prevent.
With half an hour to go the game was dead, but the Wanderers turned the screw one last time as Layouni grabbed his second of the night after a smart pass by Borrello.