Derbyshire double sends Bulls into second after win over Perth
Macarthur FC striker Matt Derbyshire scored a first-half brace to set up a 2-0 win for the Bulls over Perth Glory at Campbelltown Stadium on Friday night.
It was the first of four home games to come for Macarthur in a five-game run, who moved up to second on the A-League table with a victory over Perth sparked by two goals to their English forward.
Richard Garcia named a back four of Jason Geria, Darryl Lachman, Sebastian Langkamp and Kosuke Ota for the first time this season, but the names which impress on paper failed to do the same on the park in the first half, as the Bulls took a 2-0 lead into the break.
Derbyshire put the finishing product on Macarthur's best moves of the opening 45, scoring in the 10th minute from close range before netting from the spot late in the half after Langkamp challenged Markel Susaeta in the penalty box.
Carlo Armiento offered Perth a spark off the bench in the second half, calling Adam Federici into a low save from a strong effort in the final ten minutes of play, but the visitors were unable to muster any consistent forward pressure as the Bulls cruised to the final whistle with their two-goal lead intact.
Macarthur went a goal ahead on ten minutes after a team move which began in central defence, moved out onto the left before switching to the opposite flank and ending in front of Derbyshire to finish.
Five Macarthur players combined to set up the chance. Aleksandar Šušnjar set Loïc Puyo free in midfield with a pass from his defensive line, and Puyo proceeded to find Tommy Oar out on the left wing. Oar then slid the ball back into the centre of the park where Beñat Etxebarria gathered and switched out to the right where Ivan Franjic was steaming toward the byline.
Franjic crossed to find Derbyshire in the six-yard box, and the Englishman sent the ball off the crossbar and in to give the hosts the lead.
Macarthur put together an impressive opening half hour defined by neat interplay mixed with creative passing and movement, as the hosts bossed the ball and the chances.
A dangerous Oar run led to Beñat and Susaeta combining outside the box, and Susaeta's resulting strike called Liam Reddy into a strong save to keep the ball flying into the far right corner.
Derbyshire then headed over the bar after the pair of Basque veterans combined one more on the right flank, before Perth got forward to create a dangerous chance of their own on 33 minutes. Dane Ingham took possession of the ball in midfield Jason Geria bombed forward down the right flank, receiving the ball to flash toward the near post with a driven cross.
The ball was angled for Diego Castro to pounce but he couldn't get a boot to it on the slide as Adam Federici comfortably collected.
The ever-dangerous Susaeta paved the way to Macarthur scoring a second goal before half-time, winning a penalty for his side after a challenge from Langkamp on his Perth debut.
The Spaniard squared up the German with a run into the box, touching the ball one way before cutting back onto his left side. Langkamp attempted to withdraw his leg from Susaeta's path but the Bulls forward went down and a penalty was awarded to the hosts.
Derbyshire converted from the spot, scoring his tenth goal of the season to put Macarthur 2-0 up at the break.
Macarthur threatened to go three goals ahead as play resumed in the second 45, when Puyo shot over the bar from inside the box after another combination between Beñat and Susaeta.
The Frenchman's shot was off the mark, unlike Franjic's header from close range on 62 minutes which called Lachman into a clearing header off the goal line to keep the score at 2-0.
Garcia brought the lively Armiento off the bench with little more than half an hour to play, and the Glory wide man hungry to make an impact from the get-go, dribbling off the right flank to lash a strike from distance at Federici who dived to save the shot which was ultimately adjudged to have come from an offside position.
Perth continued to press late for a consolation goal which ultimately never came. Armiento lashed a shot off Castro's neat pass into the box toward the near post, but Federici dealt with the low, driven attempt comfortably to keep his sheet clean and wave away any threat of a Glory comeback.
Sydney FC v Perth Glory
Wednesday, April 7 2021
Kick-off: 7.05pm AET
Macarthur FC v Brisbane Roar
Friday, April 9 2021
Kick-off: 7.05pm AET
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