Glory go six points clear as Chianese & Santalab shatter Sydney FC curse
Joel Chianese and Brendon Santalab starred against former club Sydney FC as Perth Glory cemented their Premiers Plate favouritism in a 3-1 home win on Wednesday.
Melbourne Victory's earlier loss to Adelaide United afforded both teams an opportunity to underline their title credentials and Tony Popovic's table-toppers convincingly did so in a three-goal first half that sent them six points clear at the summit.
Chianese notched an 11-minute double and assisted the other for former Western Sydney Wanderers favourite Santalab, ensuring Adam Le Fondre's 68th-minute rocket was a minor blip for Glory as they snapped a nine-match losing streak against Sydney FC.
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The Sky Blues were sliced open regularly during the first half and in no more eye-catching fashion than for Glory's first.
Jason Davidson exchanged a classy one-two with Diego Castro and delivered an excellent cross in from the left that Chianese clinically dispatched.
The former Sydney FC forward quickly made it a brace by skilfully controlling Neil Kilkenny's lofted pass with his chest and firing past an under-siege Andrew Redmayne.
Though unbeaten in their four previous fixtures, Steve Corica's side were totally outplayed in the opening stanza and shipped a third when Chianese found Santalab - starting in place of the benched Andy Keogh - for his maiden Glory goal.
The second half largely passed without incident until Juande's turnover led Le Fondre to lash an unstoppable rocket into the top-left corner, the striker's 11th goal of the campaign.
Liam Reddy then made a sharp save from Michael Zullo's volley but had little work to do over the remaining 10 minutes as Glory made amends for the 2-1 loss they suffered in this exact fixture last month.