Red card helps Sydney FC beat Bulls in ALM

A midweek visit from legendary coach Sir Alex Ferguson has been unable to rouse Macarthur to victory over Sydney FC, who benefited from a contentious red card to claim a 3-2 win at Campbelltown Stadium.

Perhaps inspired by the ex-Manchester United manager's recent presence at training, Macarthur's biggest-ever home crowd of 7021 were present to see their side fall following two controversial refereeing decisions.

Sydney had an extra man for the entire second half of last week's draw with Adelaide United thanks to a subsequently rescinded red card and the Sky Blues again found themselves with the long end of the stick just before the break on Saturday.

In his 100th A-League match, Macarthur's Jonathan Aspropotamitis took Patrick Wood out as the pair jostled for the ball 10 metres outside the box.

There was only open space between them and Bulls goalkeeper Filip Kurto, and referee Alex King showed Aspropotamitis a yellow card.

But a VAR review upgraded it to a red, leaving the Bulls a man down with the score at 1-1.

"The VAR actually highlights all these things and yet the decision-makers are getting it wrong. I just can't get my head around it," Bulls coach Dwight Yorke said.

"When you look at those decisions, they're very tight and very close. (The VAR) has got to be 100 per cent right in making those decisions.

"If you're not, we pay the consequences."

Sydney's opening goal had come after a similarly debatable call.

Matthew Millar was ruled to have fouled Robert Mak in the box after 14 minutes, and the Sydney winger lined up for a penalty despite replays showing it had been Millar who fell to the ground first.

Nevertheless, VAR upheld the decision - much to Yorke's dismay.

"Certainly the penalty, in my opinion, was not a penalty," he said. "Matty is following the ball and the guy actually bumps into him.

"From there, it was an uphill battle."

While Kurto blocked Mak's strike from the spot, Patrick Wood made no mistake on the rebound and the Sky Blues were up 1-0.

Millar quickly had his revenge, heading Craig Noone's free kick into the back of the net to level the scores only two minutes later.

The Bulls did well to regroup and hold Sydney out for almost 10 minutes after Aspropotamitis' 37th-minute red.

But not even the reliable Kurto was immune to the one-two punch of new Sydney wingers Joe Lolley and Mak, with the latter restoring their lead in first-half stoppage time.

Jaiden Kucharski combined well with fellow Sydney FC Academy product Adrian Segecic, who made it 3-1, only for Anthony Carter to peg one back for the home side and give the Bulls hope of a draw in the final minutes.

The contest was officially over after Macarthur's final shot thundered off the upright to seal a Sky Blue win.

"We could have done a little bit better finishing our chances," Sydney coach Steve Corica said.

"(But) I'm very happy with the three points, some really good stuff going forward. Defensively, there are still moments in the game that we need to tidy up."