Jamie Maclaren set another Hyundai A-League record while a pair of Uruguayan’s starred as Melbourne City pummelled a hapless Newcastle Jets 4-0 on Sunday night.
City played some scintillating football to record their best win of the campaign to keep the heat on leaders Sydney FC.
Playmaker Adrian Luna scored a first-half double on his return to the starting side, before compatriot Javier Cabrera and hitman Maclaren completed he rout after the break.
Maclaren’s goal was his 10th of the campaign from just six starts, making him the fastest player to reach double figures in a season in Hyundai A-League history.
But the Caltex Socceroos striker took a back-seat to City’s South American stars as Luna (two goals) and Cabrera (one goal, one assist) stole the show.
It was the perfect response for Erick Mombaerts’ men after their 3-0 home loss to Perth Glory last weekend.
But they were never seriously threatened against a Jets side that were embarrassingly poor in front of their shell-shocked home fans.
They were hoping to celebrate veteran defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley’s 300th Hyundai A-League game in the right manner but were simply blown away from the first minute.
Ernie Merrick’s side have now lost back-to-back matches and have dropped to 10th on the ladder, one point ahead of last-place Central Coast Mariners.
Luna gives City perfect start
Any latecomers to McDonald Jones Stadium may have missed the opening goal as Luna fired City into the lead inside three minutes.
The Jets defence switched off as Craig Noone found space on the left and he threaded an inch-perfect pass for Luna inside the box.
The Uruguayan poked a first-time finish on the stretch past Glen Moss to divert the ball into the corner of the net.
Luna at the double
Just as the Jets were beginning to have their best spell, Luna doubled his – and City’s tally.
The home side’s defence failed to clear a corner, with Curtis Good keeping the ball alive and playing a pass to Josh Brillante on the edge of the box.
Brillante floated a perfectly weighted cross into the middle where Luna was waiting to tuck home a neat header.
Cabrera rattles in a third
If the Jets were hoping to respond after the break, their fightback lasted all over two minutes.
Denis Genreau took a quick free-kick on halfway and sent Cabrera free down the left.
And the classy playmaker did the rest, driving into the box and then rifling a shot into the roof of the net past a stranded Moss at his near post.
Maclaren creates Hyundai A-League history
Another slick City moves sees Brillante’s defence-splitting pass get Cabrera in behind on the right.
And the Uruguayan playmaker played a low cross into the middle where Jamie Maclaren was waiting to sweep the ball past Moss.
Maclaren’s goal took his tally to 10 for the season from six games, the fastest-ever to reach double figures in a season.
Atkinson denied by the woodwork
Nathaniel Atkinson was a late substitute for City and the youngster almost scored the goal of the night at the death.
Picking up the ball inside his own half, Atkinson ran through the heart of the Jets defence before trying to curl a shot in from the edge of the box.
The ball beat Moss but cannoned onto the post and away. So unlucky for the young defender!
It’s a blockbuster Melbourne Derby for City in Round 11 on Saturday, December 21. The highly-anticipated clash is being played at AAMI Park, kicking off at 5pm AEDT.
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