The Prickly Pear – otherwise known as Bruno Fornaroli – is going to have to be at his prickliest to keep City surging when McCormack eventually departs for less sunny shores, because without a 20-goal-a-season striker, City doesn’t have a lot else.

The Scot struck twice in the opening half an hour, first from a penalty, second from a devastatingly accurate free kick. He’s a cut above the A-League’s repertoire, and even a benched Tim Cahill knows it.

For the second week in a row, Australia’s leading goal scorer played a bit role, and City coach Warren Joyce alluded to him after the match.

“We showed a lot of resilence and spirit,” Joyce said.

“It’s difficult for the players who aren’t playing, because there’s marquee players and top players and if you’ve got any confidence you’re going to be upset that you’re not playing, but they’ve trained hard this week.”

Whether that will be consolation enough for Cahill remains to be seen, but Melbourne City bought this result when they loaned Ross McCormack.

He’s the quality of player who will win City games they otherwise deserve to lose, and that’s exactly what happened against Adelaide.

Adelaide played well. They pinged the ball around purposely, swung fantastic crosses that deserved Baba Diawara rather than George Blackwood, and appropriately ran out of legs because they’d given it their all.

But they lack the final product that City have, and sometimes, that’s the difference.

A calm and collected Ross McCormack, who didn’t look like he had to shift out of second gear, gave a brief insight to how he’s loving his time in the A-League.

“Obviously I’m happy,” he said. “The most important thing is we keep winning, the more games we win the better chance we have of finishing where we want to finish.

“Second half we didn’t play too well, but there’s going to come a time when everything clicks and some team is going to take a beating…hopefully.

 “On a personal level, it’s great to get goals,” he pauses reflectively for a moment, a flicker of emotion entering his voice, before adding, “because it’s been a long time.”