Antonee Burke-Gilroy scored his first A-League goal and created another as Perth Glory beat 10-man Melbourne Victory 3-0 to leave Macarthur top of the table.

Victory went into Sunday's clash at AAMI Park on a high from winning their opening two games of the season, but they were brought back down to earth by Perth.

Rai Marchan was shown a straight red card for catching Bruno Fornaroli with a high boot following a VAR check and Glory capitalised to claim their first win of the campaign.

New signing Burke-Gilroy opened the scoring with a sweet left-foot strike from outside the penalty area after 66 minutes, before whipping in a cross for Ciaran Bramwell to nod beyond Ivan Kelava.

Captain Fornaroli rifled in a third with his right foot from 20 yards out in the closing stages as Perth ended a run of six matches without an A-League win.

Macarthur rose to the summit courtesy of an own goal from Central Coast Mariners captain Oliver Bozanic on the stroke of half-time.

Ulises Davila's strike deflected off Bozanic and in for the only goal of the game to give Macarthur a first regular-season win over the Mariners at Panthers Stadium, where Central Coast goalkeeper Yaren Sozer was forced off with a suspected torn hamstring.

Melbourne Victory made it two A-League wins from two under Tony Popovic thanks to a resounding 3-0 triumph over Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Popovic's tenure as Victory boss started with a 1-0 win at Western United last week and an own goal from Kai Trewin under pressure from Brendan Hamill had the home side up and running after 27 minutes on this occasion.

Just four minutes later that advantage was doubled with Nick D'Agostino finishing a fine team move from close range.

It was game over shortly after the restart with Ben Folami heading in Marco Rojas' delivery, meaning Victory went top of the infant A-League table and left Roar propping up the division.

Sunday's other fixture saw Western Sydney Wanderers play out a back-and-forth 2-2 draw at home to Newcastle Jets.

The visitors took the lead through Beka Mikeltadze's 19th-minute penalty but were trailing thanks to goals either side of half-time from Bernie Ibini-Isei and Tomer Hemed.

Wanderers were pegged back by Olivier Boumal in the 52nd minute, though, leaving both teams winless through two games.

Daniel Sturridge made a brief cameo off the bench and Bruno Fornaroli scored a stunning equaliser as Perth Glory began their A-League campaign with a 1-1 draw at home to Adelaide United on Saturday.

The signing of former Liverpool and England striker Sturridge has piqued the interest in Australian football, with the 32-year-old back in the professional game after departing Trabzonspor in March 2020.

However, fans were only treated to a short glimpse of Sturridge at HFB Park, where the hosts were forced to come from behind to clinch a point.

Kusini Yengi coolly side-footed home the opener for Adelaide, only for Fornaroli to level five minutes before half-time with a ferocious 30-yard effort.

Antonee Burke-Gilroy later thought he had a first A-League goal but he and Perth were denied for offside by a VAR check.

Last season's beaten finalists Sydney FC played out a goalless draw in the derby against Western Sydney Wanderers, for whom former Everton, Manchester City and Sunderland midfielder Jack Rodwell made his debut off the bench.

Indeed, Rodwell almost made a swift impact with a 30-yard rocket that Andrew Redmayne saved, as a boisterous crowd at CommBank Stadium witnessed a stalemate.

Tony Popovich made a winning start to his Melbourne Victory tenure, with stand-in captain Roderick Miranda heading in the only goal of the game in a 1-0 triumph over Western United.

When it comes to reputations, once you have one, they are hard to shake.

Kevin Muscat knows that better than most, having earned a reputation as a hardman throughout his playing career in Australia and the UK, where he was the ultimate villain, but despite his combative approach, there was more to his game.

Muscat, who retired from professional football in 2011, was always comfortable with the ball at his feet, preferring to play out from the back. His teams mirror that view, as he now finds himself following in the footsteps of Aussie trailblazer Ange Postecoglou once again in Japan.

The captain of Melbourne Victory in their first A-League Men season in 2005, Muscat replaced Postecoglou as head coach at AAMI Park in 2013 after the now Celtic manager took charge of the Australian national team, having served as his assistant.

Muscat delivered two A-League championships and the FFA Cup, playing an attacking brand of football, before opting to call time on his 14-year association with Victory in 2019.

"Subconsciously, I was doing a form of coaching when I was playing. Albeit, it wasn't organising tactics or deciding the style of play, but I was driving that on the park. That's just who I was," Muscat told Stats Perform as he discussed his transition from captain to coach.

"For example, the first year at Victory, we get to the end of the season, we had [goalkeeper Eugene] Galekovic and [Michael] Theo – they used to play two games each. They weren't too happy with that. I said to them 'when we get a goal-kick, why wouldn't you drop it to me or give me the ball?', 'Oh we were told not to give you the ball because you'd play out from the back and we were to kick it forward'. Then it started, well okay, that's why I like to do.

"A lot of people spend a lot of time creating a perception of themselves instead of being themselves and let a perception be created by being themselves. I've done the latter and just been myself. I actually enjoyed passing the ball and thought I was a very good passer of the ball. I wanted to keep possession of the ball. That's how it started to form, building up my own ideas and style.

"Having an opportunity to work with Ange and try to fit in so much during the 14-15 months together. Fitting in so much knowledge. That's when it dawned on me – I knew I wanted to be a coach but then I was like, wow, this is what it takes.

"Ange took me out of comfort zone. It's not really a test because Ange is focused on winning the game and everything needs to be right, but I found myself tested and out of my comfort zone. I had spoken to Victory two or three times prior to that about when opportunities were available to take over and I didn't even entertain it.

"When Ange went to the national team, I had a conversation with him and that gave me a lot of belief in my own thoughts and coupled with how Ange goes about his style of play. I knew I was ready then. Fortunately enough, Ange was fairly influential in speaking to the club. The rest is history.

"Perception is sometimes not the reality. I'd like to think the five seasons I was coaching Victory, we played some really good football, some exciting football."

 

The 48-year-old won 87 A-League matches – the fourth most of any coach in the history of the men's competition, after Ernie Merrick, Graham Arnold and Tony Popovic, with the ex-Socceroos skipper one of seven coaches in the history of the league with a win percentage of 50 per cent or greater (51).

Muscat departed Victory with his teams averaging 1.7 goals per game; among managers who have coached at least 30 matches, only current Australia boss Arnold (1.8) has seen more goals scored per game.

Once Postecoglou was lured to Glasgow by Scottish powerhouses Celtic at the start of 2021-22 after guiding F.Marinos to their first J1 League title in 15 years in 2019, the Japanese club turned to Muscat. Just like he did at Victory, albeit in different circumstances, the latter stepped into fill the void left by compatriot Postecoglou in July.

"Whatever we do, it comes down to perception and narrative," Muscat, whose playing career featured stints at Crystal Palace, Wolves and Celtic's bitter rivals Rangers, while captaining Millwall to the 2004 FA Cup final against Manchester United, said as he recalled his move to F.Marinos. "More times than not, the people holding the pen or keyboard, dictate the narrative.

"There was so much stuff that I presented from my time at Victory and the way we played because we did for many years played an attractive brand of football, in my opinion. We scored many, many goals and entertaining goals. But maybe that's not the perception in Australia because it depends on the narrative.

"I'm not one to push the narrative and agenda but ultimately the perception is, in a percentage wise, what is mostly believed. But when it came to the crunch and I had to present, I was fortunate enough to fall back on some stuff in relation to that, where perception was eliminated and it was fact and visual."

F.Marinos were crowned Japanese champions two years ago, playing a high-octane and entertaining style of football under Postecoglou, who completely transformed the club that are part of the City Football Group (CFG). His legacy lives on in Yokohama.

Muscat, though, is building on Postecoglou's work, with F.Marinos second in the table this season, behind runaway leaders Kawasaki Frontale through 33 rounds.

"It was clear and evident from those discussions and hence the way it influenced my presentation, they truly believe here at F.Marinos to continue the legacy of Ange and the legacy of the football club, which the club and fans truly believe in – the way they think the game should be played," Musctat said.

"Everyone wants to win but there's high level of belief in the process and style of football. From my perspective, that's what appealed to me.

"I was under no illusion because there'd be people, and rightly so, who'd say he took over a club that was well versed in terms of playing style and where it's at. On the flip side, it had some real challenges because normally you get a job, most times, because something isn't going well and someone has been dismissed.

"This was very unique and presented its own set of circumstances because you're actually stepping into the shoes of a great manager and someone who has done so much previously and for F.Marinos.

"Throw into the fact there was quarantine and I came out a day before seven games in August. It's been everything I expected, it's been thrilling. To be able to continue on in F.Marinos fashion and style of football but also try to improve the team. We had an unbelievable little run where we started to apply some pressure and Kawasaki have pulled away again in recent weeks. We'll keep fighting with our last breaths."

As Muscat said, it is not so straightforward taking on a role where not too much was going wrong – Postecoglou was handpicked to oversee a rebuild at Celtic, who were dethroned by Steven Gerrard's Rangers last term.

But Muscat is trying to put his own stamp on F.Marinos, who have won eight of his first 13 matches in charge with an expected goals (xG) value of 2.01 and 26.14 in total, having scored 31 times in that period.

Maintaining a high-pressing philosophy under Muscat, F.Marinos – spearheaded by forward stars Leo Ceara and reported Celtic target Daizen Maeda – have won possession in the final third on average 5.77 times per game since his arrival.

When comparing F.Marinos to the league leaders or second team over the entire 2021 campaign so far, they rank first in xG (64.81), total shots (505), shots on target (188), passing accuracy (85.8 per cent), possession (65 per cent), passes in opposition half (12,145), open crosses (581), big chance total (91) and total fast breaks (12).

"There were some challenges stepping in and following Ange because the perception is everything is set up ready to go and the reality is, it was and I'm comfortable admitting that," Muscat said. "Then it was finding a way to continue that on and improve.

"What we looked at was where we were getting a lot of passes. We were very comfortable building up and drawing teams onto us then utilising the space. Whether it was in front of a back four, five or six or behind them, if they were really aggressive in their endeavours, trying to force us to play long and we'd persist and play through that, knowing there's space the other side.

"As time started to go on, we were scoring freely, you could sense teams weren't as aggressive pressing us. We worked hard on trying to increase the amount of time in our opponents half, the amount of passes in our opponents half.

"What it did do, teams are actually sitting so deep, the consequence is not a lot of space and opportunity to get behind them. Now we're in a position where, if we do get an opportunity go get forward and use space behind, where we can do that early, we still have to take that chance. But, now it's a matter of breaking teams down when they're a lot deeper.

"We had a lot of joy with the front players and they were scoring freely. Opponents have adapted. Now we have to shift and adapt. Another thing to factor in is the time of the year – teams above the relegation zone fighting for their lives, there's a lot of self-defence, teams are going into that mode.

"That's the side of the game that interests me a lot – finding and trying to identify trends prior to them happening. Then identifying trends while they're happening and try to find solutions."

Like Postecoglou, Muscat is getting his message cross through a translator.

"There's one thing that is constant in football: you're dealing with people. Fortunately, I find myself working with a translator, Yuchi; he is a wonderful guy," the 46-time Australia international said. "He actually cares, he is invested, he wants the team to play well. He is in all the meetings, he is riding the wave just as much as me and possibly even more emotional than me.

"From that side, you miss that element of directness and the emotion of having a connection with somebody. The next best thing is to have someone like Yuchi. We do a lot of video. We all learn in different ways.

"I think the one thing this pandemic has taught us – before this I didn't have an idea what Zoom or Teams was. If you want to survive, you'll find a way like we have these past couple of years."

 

Muscat's journey to Japan came after a short spell in Belgium with top-flight outfit Sint-Truiden.

Trying to break down barriers like Postecoglou amid a stigma against Australian coaches in Europe, Muscat's AFC Pro license was not recognised initially, leading to him being named technical director. All in all, his tenure did not go according to plan following a promising start.

Despite the setback, Muscat remained steadfast in his desire to succeed outside of Australia amid interest from his homeland and beyond as he continues to build his growing coaching reputation.

"We arrived in the summer and ultimately I was the coach at the time but because of the AFC Pro License – I lasted more than the 14 games reported," he said.

"We made some progress. The reason I was there because the club and owners had a vision to change the way they were playing. We went in during the winter break, we were in Spain. All of a sudden it was flipped 180 degrees to what they were doing prior. We had immediate success in terms of results. Then you could see the rewards paying off in terms of performance.

"That season finished and the pandemic hit. We didn't recruit anywhere near, that window was the first window we had to affect the playing squad in terms of personnel. To maintain where we were and progress, we needed to bring in players.

"It was very challenging for most clubs. We struggled in the market. We lost our captain and influential attacking midfielder and another striker. The list went on. I hear this question, 'well if you haven't got the players, why do you persist in playing a certain way?' The answer is quite simple because that's what I believe in and enjoy. If we don't have the players, well we're going to make this group better.

"We started season okay. Then you could sense one or two people around you at board level and even at the club, not having the same belief as you. The reality is, the three or four games leading up to my last game, we were playing some great stuff as crazy as it sounds. I could see us making progress. I could sense that we were going to get it right, the players were strong in their beliefs and resilient in persisting.

"Unfortunately, when your first instinct is to analyse results, you're missing the path that we agreed that's why I was coming there for.

"It was an unbelievable experience for me. I could've sat comfortably in Melbourne, walked out to my coffee shop in Albert Park, read the paper every day, but I wanted to take myself out of my comfort zone and learn, go on a journey and learn. So far, when I've made those decisions, they've been rewarding."

Muscat added: "I was determined that I wasn't finished. There were three-four opportunities – some in Australia and some in Europe. This opportunity come up to interview. The persistence and the will and want, now I find myself here. I couldn't be happier."

Melbourne Victory equalised with almost the final kick of the game as they held A-League Premiers Melbourne City to a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

City were on a three-match winning run in the derby and had won the previous meetings this season 6-0 and 7-0, leaving them just two short of the competition record for goals against the same opponent in a single campaign.

However, it took until the 54th minute for City to find the breakthrough – Nicholas Ansell turning the ball into his own net following Naoki Tsubaki's cross from the right.

Victory striker Rudy Gestede fired over when given a good chance to level and a fine save from Tom Glover denied the former Aston Villa man four minutes later.

City thought they had settled the contest as the clock ticked towards 90 minutes, but a VAR review disallowed Anthony Lesiotis' tap-in for offside.

The home side continued to push for a leveller and it came in the fifth minute of injury time, substitute Lleyton Brooks firing a half-volley into the top-right corner after City failed to clear a corner.

Victory's cheers resounded around the empty stands of AAMI Park as the result means they are one point above Newcastle Jets at the foot of the table.

They will avoid the wooden spoon if the Jets are beaten in their final match with City, a game which was postponed last month due to lockdown restrictions in Melbourne.

Melbourne Victory equalised with almost the final kick of the game as they held A-League Premiers Melbourne City to a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

City were on a three-match winning run in the derby and had won the previous meetings this season 6-0 and 7-0, leaving them just two short of the competition record for goals against the same opponent in a single campaign.

However, it took until the 54th minute for City to find the breakthrough – Nicholas Ansell turning the ball into his own net following Naoki Tsubaki's cross from the right.

Victory striker Rudy Gestede fired over when given a good chance to level and a fine save from Tom Glover denied the former Aston Villa man four minutes later.

City thought they had settled the contest as the clock ticked towards 90 minutes, but a VAR review disallowed Anthony Lesiotis' tap-in for offside.

The home side continued to push for a leveller and it came in the fifth minute of injury time, substitute Lleyton Brooks firing a half-volley into the top-right corner after City failed to clear a corner.

Victory's cheers resounded around the empty stands of AAMI Park as the result means they are one point above Newcastle Jets at the foot of the table.

They will avoid the wooden spoon if the Jets are beaten in their final match with City, a game which was postponed last month due to lockdown restrictions in Melbourne.

Melbourne Victory claimed just their fifth win of the A-League season in stunning fashion on Friday, thrashing Western United 6-1 at AAMI Park.

Elvis Kamsoba scored twice as the visitors recorded a first triumph against their opponents at the sixth attempt, having drawn 0-0 in the previous meeting.

However, United came into the fixture having lost five on the spin, including failing to score in the past four outings.

They did manage a goal this time, albeit a penalty from captain Alessandro Diamanti in first-half stoppage time was the only highlight in a fixture played without a crowd due to seven-day lockdown in Victoria.

Jake Brimmer opened the scoring in the 12th minute, with Rudy Gestede doubling the lead. After setting up Kambosa to score, Ben Folami was also on target as Melbourne went in at the break 4-1 up.

Kambosa added another five minutes into the second half, the away team seizing on a loose pass as the scorer exchanged passes with Callum McManaman before firing beyond goalkeeper Ryan Scott.

Jacob Butterfield completed the rout in the 82nd minute, the midfielder's left-footed drive finding the net to cap a resounding result for Melbourne’s stand-in boss Steve Kean.

Bobo got the only goal as Sydney FC ended a derby drought in their rivalry with Western Sydney Wanderers, whose hopes of reaching the A-League Finals suffered a major blow.

The 1-0 win for Sydney FC at the SCG extended their 100 per cent record – now three wins from three – in games played at the world-famous cricket ground.

Brazilian Bobo and Western Sydney's Bruce Kamau had goals disallowed before the game's decisive moment arrived in the 62nd minute, Milos Ninkovic's dinked cross from the left deftly headed into the bottom right corner by Sydney's prolific striker.

It gave Bobo a 10th goal in 19 A-League appearances this season and his fifth goal in games between the Sky Blues and Western Sydney. Only Alex Brosque (six) has scored more goals in the history of the rivalry.

The neat finish also allowed Sydney to end their six-game winless run against Western Sydney (L3 D3), with their most recent previous victory having come in December 2018.

Sydney sit second in the table, with Melbourne City having already secured the Premiers Plate, but the race is on for post-season places and Western Sydney are in danger of missing out. Needing a top-six finish, they sit ninth with three games remaining, three points adrift of sixth-placed Brisbane Roar, who have a game in hand.

Adelaide United nudged up to third position with a 1-0 win over lowly Melbourne Victory, with Craig Goodwin scoring in the 39th minute, securing a seventh win for the Reds in the last eight league meetings between the sides.

Perth Glory's Finals hopes were hit by a 1-1 draw against fifth-placed Macarthur. 

Diego Castro put hosts Perth ahead in the 13th minute from the penalty spot after Andy Keogh was impeded, but Matt Derbyshire levelled on the half-hour mark, plundering his 14th goal of the campaign from close range.

Matt Derbyshire bagged a brace as Macarthur climbed up to second in the A-League with a 3-1 win over Melbourne Victory.

Veteran striker Derbyshire seized upon a slack pass to dink home a cheeky finish in the fourth minute – the earliest goal by any Macarthur player in the A-League.

The hosts were indebted to a magnificent point-blank save by Adam Federici from Rudy Gestede that preserved their lead – an advantage that was doubled in the 39th minute when wing-back James Meredith headed home Jake McGing's cross to crown a fine team move.

Elvis Kamsoba reduced the deficit for second-bottom Victory after substitute Lleyton Brooks sprung the offside trap and his shot came back off the post.

But Derbyshire was played in by Michael Ruhs to coolly slot home his 13th goal of the season, strengthening Macarthur's grip on a finals berth and moving them nine points behind runaway leaders Melbourne City.

Melbourne City moved nine points clear at the top of the A-League after a battling 3-2 win over Brisbane Roar on Sunday.

Des Buckingham's side were 2-0 up after only 17 minutes, Connor Metcalfe blasting past goalkeeper Jamie Young before Scott Jamieson doubled the lead via Brisbane's Kai Trewin.

The visitors, who felt a handball should have been given against Craig Noone in the build-up, responded impressively to draw level before half-time through a fine Joey Champness strike and a Macaulay Gillesphey header.

City, who fired in 33 shots across the 90 minutes, failed to capitalise on their chances until some brilliance from Scott Galloway, the full-back's superb run sending him into the box where he hooked a clever finish into the left-hand corner after his cross had been blocked.

City are nine points clear of the chasing pack, with Sydney FC, Adelaide United, Central Coast Mariners and Macarthur all on 32 points.

In the later match, Perth Glory beat Melbourne Victory 2-1 at HBF Park to move seven points clear of the bottom two and keep their top-six hopes alive.

Robbie Kruse missed a first-half penalty for the visitors, who were given an uphill task when Nicholas Ansell was sent off 48 minutes in for a crude challenge on Callum Timmins.

Diego Castro combined well with Ciaran Bramwell to set up Bruno Fornaroli to open the scoring, with Chris Ikonomidis volleying home the second. Rudy Gestede grabbed a consolation for Victory after Kruse hit the crossbar.

Perth are nine points adrift of Western Sydney Wanderers in sixth but have two games in hand.

Macarthur came from behind to claim an entertaining 2-1 win at Melbourne Victory and climb to third in the A-League.

In the sides' first ever meeting, the Bulls made the most of their hosts' defensive woes, although they scored with two of only three shots on target.

Victory led against the run of play when Rudy Gestede – deemed just onside by a VAR review – won a header to play in Elvis Kamsoba, who blasted in his second goal of the season from the left side of the area.

That advantage lasted only eight minutes, however, as Markel Susaeta's shot from a tight angle deflected off Nicholas Ansell and high past Matthew Acton.

The struggling home side then enjoyed their best spell with a series of chances, including a Jake Brimmer free-kick that bounced away off the crossbar.

But Macarthur, who finished with 59.9 per cent of the possession, were back in control after half-time.

Although James Meredith handled before Jake McGing scored, seeing the goal ruled out, the guilty party made amends when he headed in himself from Benat Etxebarria's corner.

That goal was the 50th Victory have conceded this season – by far the most in the division – and it settled the match despite a late opportunity for Gestede from which Adam Federici saved well.

Central Coast Mariners missed the opportunity to put pressure on A-League leaders Melbourne City after they were held to a 1-1 draw by lowly Melbourne Victory on Sunday. 

The Mariners started on the front foot and went ahead in the fourth minute when Matt Simon headed in Stefan Nigro's cross. 

Simon went close again soon after, while Josh Nisbet and Alou Kuol were denied by Victory goalkeeper Matt Acton. 

They were made to pay for those missed chances shortly after the half-hour, when Callum McManaman curled into the top-right corner from 15 yards after a Jake Brimmer free-kick had been cleared into his path. 

Jacob Butterfield went agonisingly close to a stunning stoppage-time winner when his long-range half-volley was pawed away by Mark Birighitti.

The result means the Mariners remain three points adrift of Melbourne City at the A-League summit, having played two games more than the leaders.

Victory, meanwhile, are in 11th, two points ahead of bottom side Newcastle Jets.

An early goal from Bobo was enough to give Sydney FC a 1-0 home win over Melbourne Victory that put them second in the A-League on Tuesday.

Bobo headed in a cross from Luke Brattan after six minutes as Sydney ended a run of three consecutive draws to move one point behind leaders Melbourne City, though they have played two games more.

Victory remain second-bottom despite a battling performance without suspended quartet Callum McManaman, Robbie Kruse, Jake Brimmer and Adama Traore.

Sydney forward Kosta Barbarouses had three efforts kept out by Matt Acton, who ended the match with an impressive nine saves that kept the contest close.

The hosts were worthy winners, finishing with 10 shots on target to Victory's three, Alex Baumjohann creating five chances in a lively showing.

But Ben Folami squandered a headed opportunity for Victory while Lleyton Brooks hit the post in the second half with an aerial effort of his own as Sydney almost paid the price for not putting the result beyond doubt.

Melbourne Victory moved off the bottom of the A-League standings with an astonishing 5-4 win over Western Sydney Wanderers.

Playing under interim boss Steve Kean for the first time, Victory were ahead in the 14th minute through Ben Folami's first goal in Australia's top flight, with Storm Roux heading home Jake Brimmer's left-wing corner to double their advantage.

James Troisi reduced the arrears for Wanderers by hammering in via the crossbar, but Folami had his second in first-half stoppage time – a pinpoint Brimmer delivery and appalling Western Sydney marking again factors.

Brimmer saw a 63rd-minute penalty saved by Daniel Margush, who was let down again from the resulting corner as Dylan Ryan scored.

Jacob Butterfield then clattered in a brilliant long-range effort, meaning Graham Dorrans' 76th-minute spot-kick looked little more than a consolation.

Mitchell Duke converted Troisi's cross and substitute Nicolai Muller got in on the act, but Kean's men held on.

Jamie Maclaren scored five times as Melbourne City thrashed 10-man Melbourne Victory 7-0 in an astonishing derby match.

City moved top of the A-League on Saturday with a Melbourne derby victory that will live long in the memory.

Andrew Nabbout had given the hosts an early lead but there were no signs an extraordinary contest was on the cards until a 30th-minute red card for Victory captain Adama Traore for a foul on the goalscorer.

Nabbout won a penalty shortly after the red card which was converted by Maclaren and it stayed 2-0 until the 64th minute.

That was when the floodgates opened.

Substitute Marco Tilio set up Maclaren for the third goal before winning a penalty that the striker converted to bring up a hat-trick with 15 minutes left to play.

The lead remained at four until a remarkable spree saw City score three times in the space of 178 seconds from the 84th minute.

Maclaren scored two of them before Adrian Luna finished the rout in style, leaving the Victory players dumbfounded.

Tilio ended the night with two assists while Luna had a game-high four key passes, with Victory mustering only one shot on target compared to 10 for the hosts.

City had beaten their rivals Victory 6-0 in the first derby of the season, with this match capping a remarkable double.

In the first game of the day, Western United defeated Central Coast Mariners 1-0 in Tasmania.

A fifth-minute goal from Connor Pain – after a one-two with Besart Berisha – proved to be the only goal.

Central Coast have now fallen to one point behind Melbourne City at the top of the table.

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