Over the moon with his side’s success, Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold told reporters he and his players are in a celebratory mood after leveling the Sydney Derby scoreboard with a FFA Cup victory over Sydney United on Tuesday.
Talking to reporters at the post-game press conference, Arnold said that squaring the ledger in the cross-town rivalry between Sydney FC and western Sydney is something he told his players to focus on leading into the match.
“No cup match is easy, especially when you’re facing your rivals on their home turf. Each one of the boys was itching to play in the derby tonight, and you saw what it meant to them – not only to advance to the quarter finals, but to draw level with western Sydney before the start of the A-League season.
“I told the boys during the week to prepare for this match like any derby involving western Sydney, and it showed in their intensity out on the park.”
Two brilliant strikes from Christopher Naumoff, plus a well-taken solo effort from Iraqi international Ali Abbas saw the Sky Blues advance past a plucky Sydney United side 3-1. Arnold said his players were quietly confident leading into the match, drawing on memories of their major triumph in the previous Sydney Derby.
“The squad learned a lot from our victory at Allianz last season, and we were confident we could bring the same sort of performance to Edensor tonight. Beating western Sydney 3-1 the first time could be seen as luck, but after tonight, it’s clearly become a habit.”
While Arnold admitted he’d hoped his side’s performance would be more dominant, depriving their cross-town rivals of the psychological advantage of a 2-3 derby lead heading into the A-League season was a positive result nonetheless.
“Now that we’ve won as many derbies as western Sydney, and seeing we’ve now knocked western Sydney out of the FFA Cup, it is clear that Sydney FC is the superior Sydney team .”
Image Source: Daily Telegraph