Wanderers humiliate Sydney in 4-0 ALM derby win
Western Sydney boss Marko Rudan claims he's won the mind games in his spat with Steve Corica after leading a group of Sydney FC old boys to a 4-0 hammering of their A-League Men arch-rivals.
The feud between Rudan and Corica, whose side edged the last derby 1-0, had dominated the build-up to Saturday's meeting at Allianz Stadium.
Corica described Rudan after that win as a "sore loser" and Sydney had been hyping up comments by Wanderers forward Brandon Borrello, who had labelled the Sky Blues "bang average".
Rudan's men made Sydney look just that.
Sydney academy product Calem Nieuwenhof scored a 25-yard screamer against his former club and Milos Ninkovic set up two of the Wanderers' goals as the side from the city's west grabbed their biggest-ever derby victory.
"There was a lot said, but not by us, I think they got in a little too deep," said Rudan.
"I've got no problem with Steve Corica.
"There was a lot said on their side about us and we knew they'd taken the focus off themselves."
The result, which came courtesy of goals from Nieuwenhof, Kusini Yengi and an Amor Layouni double, lifts Rudan's side to third spot on the table.
Corica's men are now in perilous danger of dropping out of the finals spaces with five games of the regular season left.
"It's very disappointing, we knew how important the game was and we went down 2-0 and it's tough to come back from," said Corica.
"They were way better than us in the final third and took their chances.
"We need to respond to that, you have to come back from losing 4-0 in a derby."
Sydney rode their luck that night but this time they had no such fortune, with the Wanderers dominating from start to finish.
Sydney were picked apart with ease with Yengi wheeling away after scoring an 11th minute opener.
The 24-year-old celebrated by taking his shirt off and holding it up in a taunt towards the Sydney fans behind the goal
Sydney lost centre back James Donachie to a hamstring injury and with Jack Rodwell on in his place, the Wanderers smelt blood.
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 when Ninkovic teed him up he let fly with a long-range rocket that flew past Andrew Redmayne.
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.
"It's probably our best win this year in a derby away from home against our biggest enemy," said Rudan.
"The manner in which we won was the most pleasing."