While the Wanderers scored two goals, they only took one point from the thrilling affair after Scott Jamieson inadvertently put one into his own net.
Dario Vidosic’s opener was at least enough to ensure the visitors did not fall to their cross-town rivals for a third time this season.
And while the sold-out crowd of 40,382 were well behaved and flare-free, neither side could reward their faithful supporters.
Western Sydney dominated possession in the early stages, persistently sneaking in behind beefy Sydney centre-backs Matt Jurman and Jacques Faty.
The Wanderers opener came in the 13th minute as Andreu provided a long ball that landed high on the left flank and at the feet of Mark Bridge, who swung in a sublime first-time cross for an airborne Dario Vidosic, who headed home.
Mitch Nichols and his visitors continued to carve the home side open, although Western Sydney goalkeeper Liam Reddy was made to work on his club debut.
Reddy made an excellent save after a one-on-one battle with David Carney, but was roundly beaten later by Matt Simon’s thundering strike, with the custodian’s blushes saved only after the ball cannoned flush into the crossbar.
The fiesty former Central Coast Mariners shot-stopper also copped a yellow card for a dust-up with the equally punished Jurman that sparked a heated all-in melee.
It brought the derby to life and changed the game’s momentum, as the Sky Blues were sparked into action, drawing level just minutes later.
A searching David Carney pass found Alex Brosque, whose back-heel deflected off Scott Jamieson and into his net to restore parity in the derby.
Sydney FC returned from the break with renewed energy and could have taken the lead through two shots from striker Matt Simon.
The first he botched, sending a sitter skyward as coach Graham Arnold buried his face in his hands.
But his near-atonement was spectacular as he attempted a long-range shot from the halfway mark that barely went over the bar.
Another chance came and went for Simon before Arnold subbed him off for Shane Smeltz, the man who broke the Wanderers’ hearts at Pirtek Stadium in the last derby in January.
Popovic’s men struggled to sustain their first-half pressure, except when Vidosic sent Vedran Janjetovic into a brilliant diving save in the 70th minute.
More chances came and went, but Sydney had their moment of truth in injury-time.
The Sky Blues swept up-field with instinctive movement and were poised for yet another late winner, but substitute Andrew Hoole sent his shot wide.
Reddy was given his first start for the Wanderers but blotted his copybook by foolishly throwing the ball into the head of Sydney FC defender Matt Jurman as his side was getting ready to defend a corner.
The incident incensed Jurman who retaliated, causing a melee inside the Wanderers goal involving almost every player.
With his side leading 1-0 at the time, it was a silly thing to do and earned the experienced gloveman a yellow card…and surely the ire of his coach.
Sydney FC 1 (Jamieson (OG) 36′)
Western Sydney Wanderers 1 (Vidosic 13′)
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Referee: Jarred Gillett