Riera wreaks havoc against toothless City
Oriol Riera has fired Western Sydney Wanderers to a comprehensive 3-0 win over Melbourne City on Saturday night, keeping alive their ever-so-slight Finals chances.
The Spaniard grabbed his eighth goal of the campaign on 33 minutes to get runs on the board, before Mitchell Duke doubled the lead in the second half.
Riera would have a brace on 84 minutes, latching onto Alexander Baumjohann's clinical through-ball and sealing all three points for the hosts.
The game began in tame fashion, with neither side creating many meaningful chances in the opposition's box.
Shayon Harrison ignited the game on 11 minutes, finishing off a sleek Melbourne City move with a shot from range that produced a smart save from Vedran Janjetovic.
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Rashid Mahazi would fire from range too on 18 minutes, before Harrison Delbridge headed from the far post into Janjetovic's grasp.
The game would turn just after the half hour mark Rostyn Griffiths made a clumsy challenge on Kwame Yeboah, giving referee Roy Elder no option other than to award the spot-kick.
Riera stepped up and delivered, giving Western Sydney the lead on a chilly Sydney evening.
The interval saw Western Sydney lead 1-0 over City with Warren Joyce's men seemingly bereft of ideas.
Those ideas emerged in the second half as Ritchie De Laet struck the post on 49 minutes, coming inches within the equaliser.
How he would have hoped to find the back of the net, as four minutes later the Wanderers would make City pay.
Llorente won the ball just inside his own half, kickstarting a passage of play that resulted in his assist to an unmarked Duke in the box.
Duke only needed the one touch as he slotted home past an onrushing Eugene Galekovic.
The 2-0 scoreline sucked the wind out of the affair as Western Sydney looked comfortable in the lead, and City appeared resigned to their fate.
Tempers flared with just over 10 minutes to go after Melbourne City refused to kick the ball out of while Kwame Yeboah was ostensibly injured.
Riera would turn the tension into ecstasy on 84 minutes, latching onto a superb through-ball by Baumjohann.
The Spaniard took a neat first touch to set himself up before opening up his body to slide the ball home.
With that win, Western Sydney are now eight points behind Adelaide United with the Reds having played one game less than Babbel's side.