With the stage finely set for the 32nd edition of the Sydney Derby at Allianz Stadium on Saturday, we look back at the five biggest clashes against the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Now one of the biggest events on the Australian sporting calendar, the Sydney Derby has produced many memorable moments in its short ten-year history.
And the Sky Blues are no strangers to the taste of derby success…
4-0 Thumping at Stadium Australia – 8 October 2016
It was the opening day of the 2016/17 A-League campaign in front of a record 61,880 crowd away at Sydney Olympic Park and Graham Arnold’s Sky Blues made it one to remember in their Championship-winning season.
A cagey contest unfolded in the opening half but Sydney ran riot in the second term – netting four times to inflict the heaviest A-League defeat at the time over Tony Popovic’s Wanderers.
Filip Hološko, Bobô and Alex Brosque got on the scoresheet but Brandon O’Neill stole the headlines with a curling free-kick after Aritz Borda was sent off on debut for fouling Brosque through on goal.
Scintillating Smeltz Grabs Late Winner – 16 January 2016
Part of a nine-match unbeaten run in the derby, Sydney FC would once again break Wanderer hearts in Parramatta as 19,627 fans were packed to the rafters for the last ever derby at Pirtek Stadium as Jacques Faty headed the Sky Blues into an early 1-0 lead.
Dario Vidošić levelled the scoring for the Wanderers in the 58th minute with a sublime curling finish past Sydney’s Vedran Janjetović.
The hosts would create multiple chances in search of a winner but the former New Zealand international Shane Smeltz thundered home against the run of play in the 90th minute past Wanderers’ Andrew Redmayne to claim victory in the most dramatic fashion.
5-0 Derby Demolition at Olympic Park – 9 December 2017
Only one season on from dealing Western Sydney their biggest-ever A-League loss, Sydney FC would again hand the Wanderers their worst league defeat on the way to back-to-back Premiership titles.
In the highest winning margin in Sydney Derby history, Graham Arnold’s men found themselves 3-0 up at half time through goals from Brosque and Adrian Mierzejewski, with the former Polish international scoring a stunning free-kick to grab his second.
A Lachlan Scott own-goal and a delightful curling effort from O’Neill made it five for the Sky Blues and put them 15 points ahead of the Wanderers just ten rounds into the 2017/18 season.
Seven Goal Thriller in Parramatta – 28 February 2015
The Sky Blues started like a house on fire and would race into a 3-0 lead inside 24 minutes through an Ante Covic own-goal and a Marc Janko double.
It seemed as though Sydney had the points wrapped up already but Iacopo La Rocca pulled one back for the hosts before Kerem Bulut scored twice on either side of the half to dramatically level the scoring at 3-3.
But Sydney FC’s Terry Antonis grabbed the winner to make it 4-3 in the 74th minute to send the travelling Cove into delirium as the Sky Blues held on late with ten men to secure all three points.
3-2 Comeback Kings – 18 October 2014
The Wanderers found themselves two goals ahead inside 25 minutes in front of a raucous crowd of 41,213 at the old Allianz Stadium.
It seemed as if the Wanderers had soured the occasion – but the Cove roared the Sky Blues on to produce a comeback for the ages as Corey Gameiro grabbed a goal late in the first half before Socceroo Sasa Ognenovski equalised from a corner in the 49th minute.
Western Sydney would later go down to ten men midway through the second half as Vitor Saba rushed in dangerously on Terry Antonis as the Wanderers looked to hold on.
But captain Alex Brosque had other ideas as the skipper would find the winner with just 11 minutes left on the clock, producing a scrumptious half volley to send the Cove into raptures and score his first goal back in Sky Blue after spells overseas in the UAE and Japan.
Steve Corica’s men will look to harness the club’s fine Sydney Derby record this Saturday as the new Allianz Stadium hosts the fixture for the first ever time – kick-off 7:45pm.