In Morgan Schneiderlin’s debut in Australia, the Western Sydney Wanderers won their first game in over a month against Western United.
Exchanging pleasantries early on within the contest, the Wanderers sought to impose their largely transitional phase of play, with Aidan Simmons playing a focal role as an inverted winger.
The first distinct strike on goal came from Yeni Ngbakoto at the 15th minute, following an excellent cross from Gabriel Cleur just on the byline.
Following this, some pandemonium in the box saw Ngbakoto strike at Jamie Young who was able to palm it away.
At last, Ngbakoto got his goal, poaching in the box after a deflected shot from Simmons to take the Wanderers in front.
The Wanderers continued to remain fairly wasteful in front of goal, where Connor Pain sprayed a shot just wide of the left post.
As the second half began the Wanderers continued to maintain their tempo, with Oli Bozanic troubling Jamie Young once more from long range.
Western United began to find their feet, playing within a fairly high line of defence as they sought to trouble Lawrence Thomas in goal.
As Morgan Schneiderlin entered the fray, the Wanderers slightly faltered on the defensive end, sitting fairly deep within their defensive third.
Yet despite Western United’s staunch pressing approach, individual brilliance from Brandon Borrello almost led to the Wanderers’ second, yet it was called for offside as Amalfitano impeded the view of Jamie Young.
SYDNEY DERBY LOOMS AS MOST IMPORTANT OF THE SEASON
Casting their eyes towards next week’s clash in Paramatta, the fortunes of both the Wanderers and Sydney FC couldn’t be more different.
For the Wanderers, regardless of the result, themselves and Sydney FC firmly remain in the hunt for the top six, with the Sky Blues winning two on the trot.
Contrasting fortunes for both sides could leave Sydney FC in an erroneously difficult position should they succumb to the Wanderers for the second time this season, yet it remains to be see what the plan of attack for Marko Rudan’s side will be next week.
THE YENI SHOW
Following an injury-riddled start to the campaign, only making his debut in round nine, Yeni Ngbakoto is starting to find his feet, and in a huge way.
With two goals in two games, taking his tally to four for the season he is proving to demonstrate an eye for goal which the Wanderers have struggled in for the bulk of the campaign thus far.
As another striker is expected to be announced prior to the window’s closure, the coming weeks loom as pivotal for the plight of the DR Congo international moving forward.
SCHNEIDERLIN IS RED AND BLACK
Morgan Schneiderlin is no stranger to the red of Manchester United and Southampton, yet as he entered the Commbank Stadium pitch for the first time as a Wanderer, the feeling for the French international would have been immensely different to that of the European skies.
Preferred as a deep lying midfielder, Schneiderlin’s vast experience at the heart of midfields within the English Premier League would be suited to the Wanderers’ cautious yet ambitious approach.
Despite the lack of impact, Schneiderlin will provide added depth to an already strong Wanderers midfield.
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Ngbakoto 28′)