An irrepressible Melbourne Victory extended their A-League winning streak to four, brushing aside Western Sydney with ease in a 4-0 defeat at Marvel Stadium.
Victory were unstoppable from minute one on Saturday night, scoring first-half goals through Keisuke Honda, Raul Baena and Kosta Barbarouses. Terry Antonis' late lethal finish sealed the rout, Victory's biggest win over the Wanderers.
Victory put on an attacking masterclass in front of 19,556, prompting Fox Sports commentator Andy Harper to call their display "as good as we've seen." The scorers and Ola Toivonen, who could easily have scored a hatful, showed breathtaking craft and understanding going forward.
The sour note from a rampant outing was Baena and Nick Ansell limping off after half time, joining a growing Victory injury list. But so long as Victory have Honda on their team sheet, they'll take some stopping. The Japanese superstar dominated in midfield and put Victory ahead after 11 minutes, heading home Antonis' cross on 11 minutes. Baena's first goal in a Victory shirt came after 31 minutes before Barbarouses made the advantage three.
Victory's link-up play was a joy to behold but by contrast, Markus Babbel's commitment to a high line and an absent Wanderers midfield made his defenders far too isolated. Tarek Elrich looked as if he wanted the ground to open up and swallow him after two defensive howlers. The fine A-League servant slid by Baena as he drilled home his goal then brought down Barbarouses for the penalty after the Kiwi's crafty flick.
Babbel hooked Abraham Majok and Jordan O'Doherty as they sought a response. Bit Victory kept creating, with Toivonen missing four fine chances -- two by head and two by foot -- before turning creator. The towering Swede laid off Honda's ball for Antonis, who powered home a short-range volley for a fourth.
Victory's win came despite the absence of two key players. Georg Niedermeier failed two meet the concussion protocol after a clash in their last out defeat of Sydney FC, while James Troisi was ill.
The three points returns Victory to second on the table after six games, leaving Wanderers marooned in eighth.
Victory coach Kevin Muscat said wouldn't buy into the hyperbole of his team but couldn't stop smiling after the match.
"Winning can become a very good habit," he said. "There were some really big contributions tonight."
Babbel said that during the first half his side "were non-existent on the pitch."
"We were like a rabbit in front of a snake ... the second half was a bit better but even then wasn't good," he said.