Two goals from Mark Bridge helped Western Sydney Wanderers clinch a 4-3 win in a thrilling top-of-the-table clash against Melbourne City in the A-League on Friday.
The home side were unbeaten in their last five meetings with City – formerly Melbourne Heart – at Parramatta Stadium and surged into a three-goal lead with just over an hour played, only for the visitors to score twice in two minutes.
Wanderers netted a killer fourth goal in the 89th minute but there was just time for Erik Paartalu to pull another back deep into stoppage-time, though the home side held on for the win which stretches their lead at the top of the A-League to five points.
Bridge set up Mitch Nicols to open the scoring on 32 minutes with a brilliant pass and Nichols returned the favour in the second half, crossing for the striker to drill home on the break.
Bridge bagged his second and Wanderers’ third just six minutes later, finishing from close range after Nichols had chipped Thomas Sorensen, but City responded to set up an enthralling finish.
First Harry Novillo drilled in a low effort past Andrew Redmayne, before Bruno Fornaroli’s stunning curled finish just two minutes later gave City hope of a remarkable comeback.
Anthony Caceres picked up a second yellow card to reduce the visitors to 10 men and Brendon Santalab tapped home Romeo Castelen’s cut-back to calm the nerves among the home fans.
And although Paartalu turned home Aaron Mooy’s free-kick in the dying minutes, Wanderers held on for an important win.
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