Sparking win sends Glory six points clear

Glory moved six points clear at the top of the Hyundai A-League table after Joel Chianese (2) and Brendon Santalab both found the net in a sparkling 3-1 victory over Sydney FC at nib Stadium.

The best of the action from nib Stadium

Chianese's brace against his former club set the hosts on their way and Santalab, another former Sky Blues man, made it 3-0 as the hosts ran riot in the opening 45 minutes.

Adam le Fondre's well-taken goal was all the New South Wales side could muster by way of a response in the second half as their nine-game winning streak against the men in purple was ended in emphatic fashion.

And Glory Head Coach Tony Popovic was understandably thrilled with his charges' first-half performance in particular.

"How do you sum it up?"he said. "Great intensity, great football and disciplined defensively.

"It was an all-round great 45 minutes and I'm glad they got the three goals they deserved.

"It was probably the best half of the season.

"We've had some good halves that maybe haven't resulted in three goals, so if you look at the total package in terms of performance and goals, yes, this was it.

"But I think we've played as well as that, without getting the rewards.

"It was a very confident, dominant display against an excellent team.

"In our last home game we lost to them and I think it's quite clear the improvement we've made since then."

After a cagey opening to the game, Glory broke the deadlock via a well-worked move down the left.

Jason Davidson played a neat one-two with Diego Castro before bursting away and delivering an early, low cross which the onrushing Chianese slid neatly past Andrew Redmayne.

Moments later, Chianese fired narrowly over the bar after being teed up by the influential Castro, but the winger was not to be denied in the 24th minute.

This time it was Neil Kilkenny with the sublime assist, Chianese chesting the ball down neatly and after shrugging off the attention of a cluster of Sydney defenders, slotting home another low shot. 

Castro then almost got on the scoresheet himself, curling a shot over after a clever lay-off from Santalab, but the third goal was not long in arriving.

The effervescent Chianese seized upon Josh Brillante's mistake in midfield and released Santalab whose angled finish was clinical.

The second half began with Glory content to retain possession and remain compact as the visitors battled in vain to gain a foothold in the game.

And in fact Sydney came close to falling further behind when Castro linked up with Chianese inside a congested box and the latter's close-range effort just squeezed wide of the target.

Steve Corica's men did eventually manage to reduce the arrears, however, the prolific le Fondre firing home his 11th goal of the season from just outside the box having previously gone close with a glancing header.

Liam Reddy then saved well from Michael Zullo, but Sydney never seriously threatened to claw their way back after that and indeed it was Glory who finished on the front foot, with substitutes Andy Keogh and Jacob Italiano both going close right at the death.

Popovic's men return to action on Sunday when Western Sydney Wanderers will provide the opposition at nib Stadium. Kick off is at 5pm.

Match Details

Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season Round 12

Perth Glory 3 (Chianese 13', 24' Santalab 45+3') Sydney FC 1 (le Fondre 68')

Half-time: 3-0

nib Stadium, Perth

Attendance: 9521

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 3.Jason DAVIDSON (23.Scott NEVILLE 81'), 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 11.Brendon SANTALAB (9.Andy KEOGH 64'), 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO (21.Jacob ITALIANO 89'), 27.JUANDE, 88.Neil KILKENNY

Substitutes not used: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 20.Jake BRIMMER

Yellow cards: Spiranovic, Juande, Lowry

Red cards: Nil

Sydney FC: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Aaron CALVER, 4.Alex WILKINSON, 6.Josh BRILLANTE (31.Luke IVANOVIC 81'), 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.Adam LE FONDRE, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c) (11. Daniel DE SILVA 66'), 22.Siem DE JONG (17. Anthony CACERES 77')

Substitutes not used: 20.Alex CISAK (gk), 18.Jacob TRATT

Yellow cards: De Jong

Red cards: Nil

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