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Feb 12, 2022   |  7:34AM AET

City defeat Wanderers

City defeat Wanderers

Melbourne City have returned to the top of the Isuzu UTE A-League standings with a 3-1 defeat of Western Sydney.

It might have been scrappy but there were plenty of goals for the neutral to enjoy.

Florin Berenguer put City three up with a lovely curling effort on 64 minutes, before Dimi Petratos put his side on the scoreboard with 10 minutes remaining via a dubiously awarded penalty.

There might have been more goals: Jamie Maclaren missed a penalty and Berenguer scored a first-half effort only to be flagged offside.

In just his third game in charge, Mark Rudan’s Wanderers might be thankful to have avoided a greater defeat.

Western Sydney’s impotence was clear in the first half an hour, when they hogged two-thirds of possession but could fashion few chances.

“We were on top of them in the first half,” Petratos insisted.

“We copped goals on set pieces which I am sure the gaffer will let us know about that.”

City opportunistically took the lead when Carl Jenkinson’s old fashioned up-and-over found Leckie alone in the Wanderers defence and he sent a powerful diving header into the net.

Jamieson doubled up just two minutes from half-time with a fine set piece direct from the training ground.

Socceroos forward Leckie leaped from the front post and clear of his marker to glance Jamieson’s corner home at the far post, the ball avoiding anyone in a red and black shirt.

Mark Natta gave away a penalty on the hour mark, defying Maclaren bravely in a one-on-one before desperately hacking down the arriving Aiden O’Neill.

Maclaren sent his low spot kick wide, sparing the teenager’s blushes as the game came to life.

The Wanderers raced down the other end, where Keijiro Ogawa missed a sitter, only for Berenguer to put the contest beyond reach soon after.

Rudan made a rare quadruple change on 70 minutes, and the Wanderers had some joy soon after.

Petratos flicked the ball into Curtis Good’s hand at the top of the box, scoring from the subsequent penalty confirmed after a lengthy VAR delay.

The win marks the first time City, the reigning champions, have won three straight interstate matches in their history.

They will head home and start favourite in matches against Adelaide, Newcastle and Central Coast in the next 10 days as they look to consolidate their position.