Western Sydney have rebounded from back-to-back A-League losses with an emphatic 3-1 win over Perth Glory.
Western Sydney have quashed any talk of an A-League form slump with a dominant 3-1 win over Perth at Pirtek Stadium on Sunday.
First-half strikes from Brendon Santalab and Aaron Mooy put the Wanderers ahead before Shane Smeltz gave the Glory hope with a goal 10 minutes after the break.
Mark Bridge sealed victory with a 71st-minute penalty to lift the Wanderers back into second spot and ensure the Glory remain winless against the reigning premiers.
Perth have been looking a more confident unit under new boss Kenny Lowe, holding top-placed Brisbane to a 0-0 draw last week.
But they faced a sterner test in the Wanderers, who were desperate to rebound from their first back-to-back defeats this season.
The Wanderers came out looking to score from the opening whistle with Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic doing well to diffuse a barrage of strikes throughout.
Bridge, skipper Michael Beauchamp and Youssouf Hersi all put Vukovic to work in an intense opening 10 minutes.
Shinji Ono showed his class, combining with Hersi to create another chance for the Wanderers midway through the half, the Japanese star playing a cheeky back-heel to Hersi who forced another save from Vukovic.
With the Wanderers’ assault not letting up, they were bound to find the back of the net soon and it was Santalab who broke the deadlock in the 29th minute.
Mooy and Matthew Spiranovic began the play, combining to dispossess the Glory near the halfway mark.
Spiranovic went on a menacing run towards goal, off-loading to Bridge with Santalab making no mistake off the pass to score his fourth of the season.
Dead-ball specialist Mooy made it 2-0 in the 35th minute when he stepped up for a free-kick, his curling strike deflecting off the Glory wall and dipping just at the right time to find the back of the net.
Wanderers keeper Ante Covic, while barely troubled, met his match in Smeltz – the Kiwi striker finding himself in an eternity of space to get one back for the Glory in the 56th minute.
But just as Glory had the momentum they conceded a penalty when defender Riley Woodcock brought down Shannon Cole in the box.
Bridge stepped up to the mark and made no mistake.
“From the outset, it was excellent,” Wanderers coach Tony Popovic said.
“Some of the football we played tonight I have to think back a fair bit to remember the last time we played that way. It was outstanding I thought.”
“I was pleased with everything tonight. I was even pleased when they scored because afterwards the response was excellent.
“We deserved to win that game.”
Lowe admitted his side was totally outplayed.
“It should have been over at halftime at 2-0. They were good value, it should have been more,” he said.
“Vukovic was outstanding, he kept us in it and that allowed us to pinch one.
“The Wanderers were just quicker, faster, stronger, picked up every first ball, dominated the tempo and dictated the game.
“It’s not an easy place to come to. I don’t think many teams have come here and bossed the game.
“And Shinji Ono was a different class…we couldn’t cope with that.”