Melbourne City FC made a big statement on the road in the A-League Men, running out 6-0 winners against Wellington Phoenix.
City’s first arrived as an own-goal, before Mathew Leckie, Andrew Nabbout, Curtis Good and Marco Tilio (twice) piled on the pain in a landslide of second-half goals.
Despite regaining Tilio and Connor Metcalfe from international duty, Patrick Kisnorbo made just two changes from the team that beat Macarthur FC last Saturday, bringing Leckie and Jordon Hall into the lineup in place of Raphael Borges Rodrigues and Kerrin Stokes.
The home side’s unrewarded dominance of the first half was well-summarised by a good pair of early chances for James McGarry and Ben Old, with the latter even forcing a good save from Tom Glover to palm the ball out for a corner.
Those misses would come back to bite the Phoenix in the 17th minute, with City opening the scoring thanks to an own-goal inadvertently netted by Finn Surman following a Florin Berenguer corner.
The Phoenix nearly had an immediate reply one minute later through Ben Waine, who was able to squeeze out a shot amidst City defensive pressure but fired straight at Glover for the comfortable low save.
Glover was at the centre of the contest’s next big moment in the 34th when he came steaming out of his box to head the ball away at full stretch but failed to get the necessary distance on the clearance, with Old finding himself with a great chance to lob the out-of-position keeper but sent his shot floating harmlessly wide.
Wellington came close again on the stroke of half-time when a cross towards the back post evaded David Ball’s outstretched boot by mere centimetres, so the City boys were relieved to reach the safety of half-time with a one-goal lead.
The respite turned out to be exactly what the visiting side needed, with Leckie doubling City’s lead in the 50th minute when he was found at the back post by Berenguer after a nice combination with Nabbout.
City’s turnaround continued nine minutes later when the team found their third of the afternoon through Nabbout. The winger was the beneficiary of his own good work, forcing a turnover high up the pitch and striking across the keeper into the left side netting.
A fourth arrived in the 68th when Good netted his sixth A-League goal with a well-placed header across the keeper from Metcalfe’s corner, not too long after the midfielder had entered the fray off the bench.
The landslide continued in the 76th when Tilio, just four minutes into his cameo off the bench, was able to capitalise on a loose ball from a corner by placing it into the side-netting to net City’s fifth.
The recently-capped Socceroos winger then made it two goals in nine minutes when he was played through wide and was able to clip a ball over the oncoming Oliver Sail from a narrow angle. The shot was cleared away by a Phoenix defender, but the linesman confirmed that the ball had fully crossed the line, handing City its sixth.
Just as the prospect of rewriting club records began to draw near, the tidal wave of goals finally subsided over the final 10 minutes as the City boys saw out their second-consecutive clean sheet, recording a 6-0 away victory.
Given Western United’s draw with Central Coast Mariners earlier in the afternoon, the win sees City’s lead at the top of the table extend to five points with two games in hand. The boys will soon have the opportunity to grow that buffer to eight points when they take on Sydney FC at home on Wednesday night.