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Rampant Melbourne City slams seven past Western Sydney Wanderers

Melbourne City teammates mob Terry Antonis after his wonder strike from halfway at AAMI Park on Tuesday night.

Melbourne City teammates mob Terry Antonis after his wonder strike from halfway at AAMI Park on Tuesday night. Photo: Getty

Melbourne City has crushed a dire Western Sydney 7-0 to charge into the A-League Men top six and pile more pain and pressure on the free-falling Wanderers.

Aurelio Vidmar’s charges inflicted Western Sydney’s heaviest-ever defeat with an extraordinary blitz at AAMI Park.

A ruthless 13 minutes, where the wonderful Tolgay Arslan scored twice and Leo Natel and Max Caputo also netted against a horrendously disorganised Wanderers, gave City an insurmountable 4-0 lead by half-time.

It prompted coach Marko Rudan to hook five players at half-time – the first time it has happened in the league.

Nuno Reis headed home a fifth in the 73rd minute, while Jamie Maclaren, who was benched for Caputo for a second consecutive game, ended his 10-game scoring drought four minutes later.

Terry Antonis completed the rout with an incredible strike from just inside the centre circle in the 82nd minute.

Antonis, who was frozen out at Western Sydney under Rudan last season, made a beeline for the Wanderers bench and made a ‘call me’ gesture at his former coach.

The defeat is Western Sydney’s third on the trot, its worst run under Rudan who is contracted until the end of the 2026-27 season, and it drops out of the top six with City leapfrogging the Wanderers.

City peppered the Wanderers defence, missing captain Marcelo through suspension, without reward early but took a deserved lead in the 30th minute.

Talbot slipped through Steven Ugarkovic out wide and the midfielder lofted a wonderful dipping ball to Arslan, who was somehow in acres of space right in front of goal.

The playmaker coolly volleyed home.

City doubled its lead almost immediately from the restart.

Dylan Scicluna coughed up the ball to Jimmy Jeggo, who worked the ball to Arslan.

The playmaker took off and seized the opportunity to go himself and unleash a wonderful strike.

For City’s third, Marin Jakolis slipped through Caputo, who squared the ball for Natel at the back post to score.

Three minutes later Talbot launched a long ball down the right flank and Ugarkovic hooked the ball back for Jakolis.

The winger tapped the ball into the path of Caputo, who came steaming in and powered home City’s fourth.

Rudan responded with wholesale changes, but it only stopped the rot briefly.

Reis headed home an Antonis corner, before Natel danced through traffic to find Maclaren, who took a lovely touch then cleverly hooked the ball past Lawrence Thomas.

Then, in the 82nd minute, Antonis rubbed salt in the wound when he spotted Thomas off his line and launched an extraordinary goal from just inside City’s attacking half.

-AAP
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