A whole load of lessons from this one: the Wanderers unbeaten start to the season broken in Round Eight by Brisbane Roar.
Brisbane came into today’s game sitting just outside the top four on the table - but their performance against the Wanderers showed that they can definitely contend with the ladder leaders.
The Roar started off strongly with some great build-up play that resulted in a shot at goal within the first minute of the match.
They pressed high and made it hard for the Wanderers to play the ball out of their half.
The aggressive start from Brisbane extended to their midfield, where the Roar were winning a majority of the early battles and putting pressure on the Wanderers defence.
But the second half was where the Roar really came out on top – within the first 30 minutes, Brisbane were up 4-0.
It’s not surprising that the Roar were able to give Western Sydney a thrashing – after all, they have six players who have recently been named in the Matildas squad.
Brisbane have proven that they’re certainly contenders for the final’s series, which is quickly approaching…
FULL TIME.— Beyond 90 (@Beyond90AU) January 12, 2020
Brisbane Roar 4 Western Sydney Wanderers 0.
A shock result for the home side that has scored nine goals in their last two games. #WSWvBRI 0-4
Keepers' doing well
Despite the score line, both keepers played exceptionally well today.
Mackenzie Arnold kept Brisbane in the game making a number of valuable saves, especially in the first five minutes of the second half where the Wanderers came out firing.
She kept a clean sheet against a team that had scored nine goals in their two previous games, playing confidently and calmly as always.
At the other end of the park, Abby Smith was putting her body on the line for her side.
Even though the Wanderers conceded four goals, the keeper was a vital part of her team today.
She kept Brisbane’s aggressive early attack under control and didn’t concede in the first half despite a high press from her opponents.
You could hear her over the broadcast communicating to the Wanderers players; organising them in defence and encouraging them throughout the game.
Smith got caught off her line a couple of times in the second half, but she didn’t deserve to concede four goals.
Hot DAYUM, Brisbane scoring x2 against the run of play. Smith doesn't really deserve that, but some great strikes from the Roar, so they do deserve the goals.— Neurotic Soccer (@neuroticsoccer) January 12, 2020
Strap in cuz the next 30 minutes are going to be huge. #WSWvBRI
Battle of the midfield
Today’s game was won in the midfield.
Although both sides have high calibre players all over the park, Brisbane Roar were stronger and more consistent in the middle of the park today.
It was a brilliant match-up, with Ella Mastantonio and Denise O’Sullivan in the Red and Black going up against experienced Elise Kellond-Knight and Katrina Gorry for Brisbane.
It was an arm wrestle that could have gone either way for most of the first half.
As the game went on, the Roar won more tackles in the midfield and had better build up play to create more successful attacking opportunities.
Although the Wanderers were putting their bodies on the line in defence and certainly working hard, Brisbane were able to put their mark on the game with a 50th minute goal, and after that the flood gates opened for their ultimate 4-0 triumph.