Oriel Riera ended his goal drought and took some pressure off compatriot Josep Gombau with a starring role in Western Sydney Wanderers' 2-1 home win over fading Melbourne City.
Riera scored the equaliser and set up the winner for Mark Bridge in a match-tilting two-minute period in the first half of Monday's A-League game at ANZ Stadium. It was a first home win and just a second victory in seven games at the helm for Wanderers coach Gombau.
The win lifted Wanderers two places to seventh, but it was a third straight loss for fourth-placed City. The visitors had plenty of second half possession, but created few clear-cut chances.
Luke Brattan's fierce free kick in injury time was well saved by Vedran Janjetovic, who earlier saved a Ross McCormack penalty, as City's run of never beating the Wanderers in Sydney extended to nine games.
Wanderers suffered an early setback when their influential Spanish playmaker Alvaro Cejudo limped out of the game in the ninth minute.
Most of the drama came in the last 20 minutes of the first half after an uneventful opening quarter. Returning striker McCormack finished well at the far post from a Nathaniel Atkinson cross to notch his eighth of the season and give City a 25th-minute lead.
The goal sparked the Wanderers into greater urgency with Cejudo's replacement Jumpei Kusukami hitting the outside of a post. Riera levelled the game in the 30th minute when he controlled a deflected cross from fullback and compatriot Raul Llorente and turned and drilled a fierce shot past City goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis. It was Riera's fifth goal of the season, but a first in seven games for the Wanderers' leading scorer.
Riera turned provider two minutes later when he shrugged off a couple of tackles and his astute pass was finished with aplomb by Bridge.
City missed a glorious chance to level the game in the 39th minute, when McCormack, who was back after missing the Melbourne derby with a knee injury, missed his first penalty in four attempts for City. Janjetovic dived to his left to push away the spot kick awarded after his recalled captain and defender Robbie Cornthwaite fouled Scott Jamieson.
Teenager Daniel Arzani added some spark off the bench for City in the second half, having one shot blocked and fizzing another effort wide.