Saturday night’s Sydney derby will be the ninth instalment of a rivalry which has already captured the imagination of not only the football public but all sports fans around the city (and perhaps the country too).
For a rivalry which is less than three years old there has already been so many highlights and talking points and we look back at just a few to get you in the mood for another drama-packed edition at Pirtek Stadium - otherwise known as Wanderland - this weekend.
Alex Del Piero ensures Sky Blues draw first blood
A new rivalry was born on October 20, 2012 when the Sky Blues headed to Parramatta Stadium for the first ever Sydney derby. Almost 20,000 fans packed into the home of Western Sydney Wanderers FC for an historic night packed with emotion, tension and a storybook ending for Sydney FC’s Italian superstar.
The hype of the occasion perhaps affected the quality of the football but it was a piece of brilliance from Del Piero which decided the contest. Surrounded by four players in the box, who drew a mis-timed challenge from Aaron Mooy to win a penalty, which he coolly slotted into the bottom corner only for it to be disallowed for encroachment by his Sky Blues team-mates.
It only added to the theatre as Del Piero’s second attempt was blocked by Ante Covic but the Italian stayed calm and crashed the ball home at the second attempt before running off to celebrate with the Sky Blues fans in the corner of Parramatta Stadium.
The visitors won 1-0.
Cole cracker denies his former club
On the back of a 10-game winning streak, the Wanderers had the chance to secure the Premiership with a win over the Sky Blues in the penultimate round of the season. Sydney FC was fighting for their finals lives as well - it made for a gripping contest in Parramatta.
Del Piero gave the visitors the lead in the first half, intercepting a poor pass by Nikolai Topor-Stanley to steal possession, race into the box and finish clinically past Ante Covic.
The Sky Blues were doing well to hold on to their lead but were dealt a blow when Brett Emerton was sent off after the break. With a numerical advantage the Wanderers pushed forward and deservedly got an equaliser in stunning fashion. Cole, who joined the Wanderers from Sydney FC in the off-season, curved a 25-metre free-kick around the wall and out of the reach of Ivan Necevski to score and etch his name in derby folklore.
It ended 1-1. The red and black had to wait for another week to win the Premiership trophy in Newcastle.
Sensational Shinji at Allianz
The first derby of the Wanderers’ second season in the Hyundai A-League may have been at the home of the Sky Blues but belonged to the visitors' marquee man.
Shinji Ono put on a master-class for the Wanderers who claimed local bragging rights with a dominant 2-0 victory. And Tony Popovic’s men had Ono to thank. In front of 40,000 plus crowd, the former Japanese international set up Iacopo La Rocca’s opener sending in a pin-point free-kick which the Italian nodded in at the near post.
If that was good, Ono then produced a moment of magic 15 minutes later, doing it all himself to double the Wanderers’ lead. Receiving the ball just outside the box, Ono tried a cheeky chip over the defence which Sky Blues defenders Seb Ryall and Tiago Calvano both failed to deal with.
The Wanderers playmaker pounced on their uncertainty, controlling the loose ball on his thigh with a silky touch before steering it past Vedran Janjetovic into the corner of the net.
It was a classy individual goal and one worthy of winning any derby match. And boy did the red and black fans enjoy it.
Sydney FC produce stunning comeback
The first derby of this season will go down as one of the best, producing five-goals, a red card and one superb fightback from Sydney FC. Hurting from an opening round drubbing against Melbourne Victory, the Wanderers flew out of the blocks at Allianz Stadium, racing to a 2-0 lead thanks to a brilliant half-volley from Mark Bridge and an embarrassing own-goal blunder from Sky Blues shot-stopper Vedran Janjetovic.
The Wanderers were cruising but the match swung just before the break. Corey Gamiero pulled a goal back after a clever back-heel from Alex Brosque before a scrappy Sasa Ognenovski goal early in the second-half drew the sides level to set up a grand-stand finish.
A reckless challenge from then-Wanderers playmaker Vitor Saba earned the Brazilian a straight red card and allowed Sydney FC to push home their advantage, with Brosque delivering a killer-blow soon after to give Sydney FC victory and complete an incredible comeback.
What a night to be Sky Blue...