Back to full strength, Melbourne City consolidated their spot in the A-League's top four with a classy 5-1 win over the Phoenix in Wellington.
Missing six players to suspension in last week's 2-2 draw with Brisbane, City stormed back against a hapless Phoenix, slicing through the home team on Saturday with two first-half goals before adding three in a dominant second spell.
Winless in their past seven away games, City weren't initially convincing and Wellington looked set to take advantage in the 15th minute.
Former Nix defender Manny Muscat was judged to have brought down Kosta Barbarouses as he closed in on goal, although replays suggested the light touch was outside the area. It didn't matter - Barbarouses blasted the spot kick into the crossbar, Melbourne cleared and Wellington's best chance went begging.
City hit back almost immediately on the counter, Nick Fitzgerald latching onto a sweeping Anthony Canceres ball down the right and making a strong run. His pull-back clattered off Phoenix right back Ryan Lowry, and Melbourne took the lead after 20 minutes.
City continued to pressure Wellington's makeshift back four, which sorely missed skipper Andrew Durante to suspension and right back Jacob Tratt to injury. The pressure told as the half-hour mark approached, City earning a free kick when Wellington keeper Glen Moss handled outside his area.
Luke Brattan's attempt by-passed Muscat but fell sweetly for Bruno Fornaroli, who calmly doubled City's lead with his 13th goal of the season.
Ahead 2-0 at the break, City added a third in the 60th minute when Caceres slotted home to finish a scything Josh Rose run down the left.
The visitors continued to control play, although Barbarouses pulled one back for Wellington 10 minutes later, shimmying his way into the Melbourne box before sliding a cool finish home across keeper Thomas Sorensen.
The chances of any more looked remote, Neil Kilkenny and Nicolas Colazo adding a goal apiece in the closing minutes to wrap up a miserable night for the Phoenix.