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Western Sydney Wanderers deploy aerial power to sink Macarthur in derby

Western Sydney’s Valentino Yuel enjoys his goal at CommBank Stadium on Monday.

Western Sydney’s Valentino Yuel enjoys his goal at CommBank Stadium on Monday. Photo: Getty

Western Sydney’s lethal crossing and aerial prowess propelled them to a 3-1 A-League Men home derby win over Macarthur and outright third spot on the ladder.

All three Wanderers goals at CommBank Stadium on Monday came from crosses, and they have scored a league-leading eight times from headers this season, including two against Macarthur.

“We have more successful crosses than any other team in the league, and there’s a reason for that,” Wanderers coach Marko Rudan said.

“We work on areas to make runs into and that’s through design, that’s not just ‘I’ll get in there and hope the ball hits me’.

“There are a lot we work on with our movements inside the box when the ball gets into wide areas, and that’s why it was fantastic to see the amount of goals we scored today from those wide areas.”

Goals in the first 12 minutes from Swede Marcus Antonsson and Aidan Simmons, both from Nicolas Milanovic crosses from the left, gave the Wanderers the perfect start.

Jake Hollman’s top-notch strike from outside the penalty area in the 20th minute dragged Macarthur back into the derby.

The Wanderers, who moved two points behind the two teams above them, put the game beyond doubt in the 84th minute with a Valentino Yuel header from a Gabriel Cleur right-wing cross.

Western Sydney was good value for its win, having 27 shots to 11.

Macarthur did have more possession, but the Bulls had only two shots on target and none in the second half.

“The only issue I had was not finishing them off and being more clinical in front of goal, because we certainly got from the back third to the front third into their penalty box quite often,” Rudan said.

It was fifth-placed Macarthur’s third straight loss after going unbeaten In its first seven games.

“I’m not going to panic just yet. I think we’ve shown enough that we are still playing some good football,” Macarthur coach Mile Sterjovski said.

“We’ve had a big schedule, but I think the boys have it in them to turn it around.

“The way they (Wanderers) started we were kind of expecting that, and I told the players to be aware, to be ready for that.

“But credit to them, they profited from our slow start and it was difficult for us to get back into the game.

“I thought the effort was there from the boys.

“We did create quite a few chances of our own and just didn’t put them away, and then they got a third later on, which killed the game for us.”

-AAP

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