Wanderers fire in smooth show

THE Western Sydney Wanderers travel to Newcastle on Saturday to take on the Jets after a confidence-boosting 3-1 victory over Perth in Parramatta onSunday night.

On the heels of two losses in a row, the red and black machine on display against the Glory was almost unrecognisable from the team that has been playing some dull, unimaginative football for most of the 2013-14 A-League season.

Something clicked on Sunday. It was a pleasure to watch, not just for the die-hard fans among the 14,111 crowd but for anyone who appreciates beautiful ball movement so smooth it is almost impossible to defend against.

From the kick-off, it was obvious this was a new, slick Wanderers outfit that was hungry to score goals, instead of just ensuring a clean sheet on its own end.

So it was no wonder the goals came, almost effortlessly, in the first half to Brendon Santalab after 20 minutes, and seven minutes later to western suburbs talent Aaron Mooy.

Perth hit back to make it 2-1 when Shane Smeltz scored 11 minutes into the second half, but Mark Bridge scored from the spot in the 71st minute to put the result beyond doubt.

Coach Tony Popovic didn't hold back in praising his team.

"Some of the football we played tonight — I have to think back a fair bit to think when we last played that way. It was outstanding," he said after the match.

"I think in the first half we were outstanding in every aspect of our game.

"The only thing that wasn't outstanding was the score line at half-time which could have been anything."

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