Sky Blue humiliation, another late show from Glory, can Wook make the final?

Melbourne Victory moved to within six points of the top six, there was late drama in the chase and Wellington were taught a lesson by rampant Adelaide, but the biggest story of the round was the Wanderers’ demolition job of the Sydney derby on Saturday. There’s a lot to discuss, so let’s get into it.

Here’s your A-League round 21 chat.

Western Sydney put their rivals to the sword on a dreadful night for the Sky Blues faithful

Sydney FC’s return to Moore Park has been bumpy (not to say the least), but until Saturday night there was nothing more dire for the club than a 4-0 derby humiliation at the hands of their cross-town rivals.

From the first minute, Steve Corica’s unchanged side looked sloppy, disorganized and frankly uninteresting in their loss to Wellington Phoenix. Goals from Cousin Yengi in the first 20 minutes and mid-season signing Amor Layuni saw Western Sydney completely in control of the derby before Sydney refused to let Calem Nieuwenhoef make it 3-0 with a fantastic strike from outside the box.

To rub salt in the wound, club legend Milos Ninkovic, who also left the previous off-season in dire circumstances, provided a helping hand to The Hof’s rocket.

It was Wanderers’ biggest win in derby history and also the first time they had scored four goals in a game. It’s now the practical end of the season and Marco Rudan’s men will be playing finals football for the first time since 2016-17, yes it really has been that long, and are likely to secure a top-four finish.

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Bimby’s time has definitely passed. There have been many hints from supporters and journalists, but this should be the final nail in the coffin.

Finally, a tip of the derby hat to referee Alireza Faghani for keeping a lid on the testosterone leak.

Can Victory make it six and what will it mean for Poppa?

After Vuck’s miserable campaign it seems odd to enter that subtitle, but with a 2-0 win over the Central Coast Mariners they are now within striking distance of sixth-placed Sydney. Much remains to be done for Tony Popovich’s side, including the results of several other sides, but the battle for a top-six spot is sure to make for an exciting end to the season.

It will be interesting to see what the next six games (Victory and City have yet to wrap up the abandoned Melbourne derby) will mean for Popovich’s future in the top job.

Is he going to be sacked no matter what happens from now on, or could a miracle run to the play-offs save the former Socceroo from the breadline? Because this is a team coming off a second-place regular season that should have easily made a top-four push, if not more.

Glory refuses to lie down as Newcastle’s poor run continues

For the second week in a row, Perth managed to score in injury time, this time earning a point at McDonald Jones Stadium. I don’t know what it is about this resourceful side whose realistic aim was surely to avoid 12th place in 2022-23, but they just keep fighting and new boss Ruben Zadkovic has managed to coax maximum effort and energy from his charges.

On planes, well, there really isn’t that much to say. Should they have closed that game out or did they get what they deserved?

I think Arthur Pappas is a good coach, but he really needs to get more out of this team. While it’s not the brightest list, it’s better than their results would tell you.

The Premier League has come to its senses with a Sunday prime time game

Another sloppy day at Harbor City, Melbourne City’s 3pm visit to the highly-regarded Campbelltown Stadium would be an absolute disaster. Fortunately, however, the powers that be came out and scheduled a 7pm start in Sydney’s south west.

The spoils were split between City and Macarthur, although the ladder leaders could have considered themselves slightly unlucky after two penalties were overturned by VAR.

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