W-League champions Sydney FC have returned to the top of the standings after a stunning 4-0 win over Brisbane Roar.
Striker Jodie Taylor scored a double to help Sydney FC inflict a record 4-0 defeat on arch-rivals Brisbane Roar as the champions returned to the top of the W-League standings in style.
The two sides have between them won four of the five W-League titles but the Roar were constantly on the back foot against a Sydney FC forward line in irresistible form at the Sydney United Sports Centre on Sunday.
Brisbane Roar coach Belinda Wilson sprung a surprise by electing to leave goalkeeper Nadine Angerer on the bench, with the newly crowned FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year returning from Zurich on Thursday.
Goals in quick succession midway through the opening half from Emma Kete and Leena Khamis gave Sydney an early advantage in warm conditions.
Taylor netted late in each half to complete the scoring and only a string of crucial saves from replacement goalkeeper Kate Stewart saved the Roar from even further embarrassment.
Sydney FC coach Alen Stajcic sent a warning to the rest of the competition, saying his side still have room for improvement.
“I was really pleased with our performance,” he said. “Some of the goals were world class and we could have scored even more in the second half.
“It is probably our best performance of the season and we are improving each week so I couldn’t be happier in that sense, but we still only played for maybe 75 of the 90 minutes.”
The win leaves Sydney FC unbeaten after nine rounds and with a match in hand.
Melbourne Victory relinquished top spot after Western Sydney Wanderers scored a late equaliser through defender Jessica Seaman to cancel out a first-half own goal.
Lisa De Vanna twice struck the crossbar for the Victory in action-paced match with the 1-1 draw all but ending the Wanderers’ semi-final hopes.
Canberra United strengthened their hold on the fourth and final play-off berth with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Adelaide United.
Goals from Michelle Heyman, Stephanie Ochs and Ashleigh Sykes ensured a one-sided win for the team from the nation’s capital, reversing the result against the same opponents just a fortnight ago.
On Saturday, Perth Glory came from two goals down to defeat the winless Newcastle Jets 3-2 with Marianna Tabain netting the winner midway through the second half.