Wanderers dismantle Macarthur

Western Sydney Wanderers have bulldozed their way past Macarthur FC, claiming a 4-0 win to breathe life into their Isuzu UTE A-League campaign. 

The Wanderers had registered just one victory in seven games prior to Saturday and looked to be in danger of slipping out of the top six.

But after red-hot forward Brandon Borrello got Western Sydney off the mark and Macarthur winger Craig Noone was sent off – all in the opening six minutes – Marko Rudan’s men were in cruise control at CommBank Stadium

Romain Amalfitano, Morgan Schneiderlin and Calem Nieuwenhof joined Borrello on the scoresheet to move Western Sydney up to third, level on points with the Central Coast Mariners.

Rudan’s men are behind the Mariners – who they host next weekend – on goal difference.

“We had four different goalscorers and that shows we aren’t reliant on one player, which is what I wanted to create,” Rudan said. 

“Sometimes it can be tough to play against 10 men but we were driving forward. 

“It was a very disciplined performance, we controlled the opposition, with and without the ball. 

“The attitude was great and that’s exactly what we want at this football club.”

Macarthur were caught napping early, with Milos Ninkovic escaping the attention of Kearyn Baccus and playing Borrello into the box.

The four-cap Socceroo did not hesitate, firing the ball past Filip Kurto to grab his fifth goal in seven games.

The Bulls’ night went from bad to worse when Noone lunged in on Gabriel Cleur with his studs raised in the sixth minute and, after consulting VAR, referee Kurt Ams showed the Macarthur man a straight red. 

The Bulls repelled the Wanderers for half-an-hour or so until Schneiderlin slipped into the box and squared to fellow Frenchman Amalfitano, who buried the ball past Kurto in the 37th minute.

The Wanderers picked up where they left off after the halftime break with Kurto forced to tip a close-range Amor Layouni effort around his post. 

The two sides were preparing for a Wanderers corner when Ams halted play to review replays of the build-up, which showed Bulls defender Aleksandar Susnjar clearing the ball but also making contact with Wanderers midfielder Nieuwenhof.

Macarthur’s players were incredulous when the official pointed to the spot, with former Manchester United midfielder Schneiderlin thrashing the penalty beyond Kurto.

Nieuwenhof completed the rout soon after, with Bulls boss Mile Sterjovski adamant his side had been hard done by. 

“He (Susnjar) had eyes on the ball only, Nieuwenhof came in with studs up – it definitely wasn’t a pen, but we move on,” Sterjovski said. 

“At 2-0 there’s a chance to come back, but in the end it wasn’t to be.

“When you’re defending a lot, you waste a lot of energy but it was always going to be difficult with 10 men.”