Sydney FC sent out an early warning to the rest of the A-League that they're still the team to beat after dumping the reigning champions out of the FFA Cup to cruise into the semi-finals.
The Sky Blues are on course for a third trophy in 2017 following a commanding 2-0 win over Melbourne City at Leichhardt Oval where their new attacking weapon for the upcoming season, Adrian Mierzejewski, was unveiled,
The Polish international showed why he was coach Graham Arnold's priority signing during the off-season and received a standing ovation from the 4102 fans at the end of the match after his impressive performance at the fulcrum of Sydney's attack.
It began from the opening moments, where a superb free-kick found Bobo unmarked inside the box. However, the Brazilian centre-forward couldn't connect to convert what should have been a certain goal.
The home fans didn't have to wait long for Sydney to make amends and the A-League champions did so in emphatic style. It began with an intricate passing move that unravelled Melbourne City's defence in the midfield where Mierzejewski was halted illegally when fouled by Iacopo La Rocca on the edge of the box.
All eyes were on Sydney's new signing as he stood over the ball, but it was Jordy Buijs who delivered the lethal blow. The Dutch defender fired a curling free-kick into the corner of the net to open the scoring, leaving City defender Eugene Galekovic rooted to his spot.
Still, the first half belonged to Mierzejewski who was pulling the strings as Sydney's attacking architect. Another superb long-range ball split City's defence to give Zullo a chance to double the lead but his chip over Galekovic lacked the power to hit the back of the net.
Leading Sydney's fluid attack, Mierzejewski's cutback midway through the half found Milos Ninkovic inside the box but a rushed attempt failed to add a second.
Melbourne were fortunate to be behind by just one goal at the break and their hopes of a comeback rested on Tim Cahill, who was introduced at the restart.
But it changed little. Five minutes later and Sydney had their second. In the scintillating fashion that merited their first half performance, captain Alex Brosque put the Sky Blues into the semi-finals of the FFA Cup. Fittingly, it was Mierzejewski who played Brosque through who head past La Rocca before instinctively chipping the ball with the outside of his left boot past Galekovic to make it 2-0.
It was the last contribution from Sydney's captain who fell victim to a crunching tackle from Melbourne's Manny Muscat and limped off injured, the only blemish to the Sky Blues' eye-catching performance.
The story New signing dazzles as Sydney FC cruise into Cup semis first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.