The flying Dutchman struck in the final minute to gift Melbourne City a win for the ages, 4-3 against Western Sydney Wanderers in an absolute classic encounter.
Seven goals and almost every one was a belter, rounding off a fantastic night at AAMI Park and a solid return-to-winning-ways for Warren Joyce's side.
Ritchie de Laet opened the scoring only 15 seconds into the match after the Wanderers' cheap defensive giveaway. Roly Bonevacia struck back from the spot as Western Sydney ended the first half strongly, but a Luke Brattan special restored City's lead soon after.
To their credit, Markus Babbel's side kept the faith and took advantage of some lackadaisical movement - Tass Mourdoukoutas equalised from a plum Jordan O'Doherty cross before Jaushua Sotirio scored an equally impressive goal to Brattan's.
But as always with Western Sydney, it wasn't quite enough. De Laet scored another, then a phenomenal Bart Schenkeveld header sent the crowd into raptures.
Eugene Galekovic - 6
Great stop early in the first half, diving to deny Roly Bonevacia. All the goals were screamers or penalties, what can you do?
Curtis Good - 5
Few shaky moments, looked relieved to survive a couple of hasty clearances.
Harrison Delbridge - 7
Springs like a gazelle - brimming with raw power, jumping over attackers and defenders alike with ease.
Bart Schenkeveld - 8
The short-shorted Dutchman’s short-temper could have caused a few problems, but with the ball he’s practically Fonzy.
Ritchie de Laet - 8
Scored in the first 15 seconds after latching onto an errant Wanderers’ pass, then in the final 10 minutes with a superb spinning low-drive. Yet another two notches for the big Belgian fullback.
Scott Jamieson - 6
He’s had a few careless moments the last few weeks, not exactly leading by example.
Kearyn Baccus - 6
His brother’s sending off seemed to spark him to life, but despite spending a fair amount of time on the ball, didn’t create much.
Rostyn Griffiths - 6
He started well, controlling the tempo, but lost control as the match wore on.
Luke Brattan - 8
The blonde bombshell’s gone but the belters keep coming! That’s four screamers from four goals this season. He even traded in his golf-swing for a bit of zen meditation, that’s how cocky he’s getting.
Florin Berenguer - 7
Perfectly weighted passes, caressed one off the crossbar.
Riley McGree - 6
Awkward back-tracking, overplaying and some loose decision making. First game back, showed glimpses of brilliance but rusty around the edges.
Lachy Wales - 7
Could have had a couple of goals, played a huge role in City's resurgence.
Nathaniel Atkinson - 7
You can see the value in City's academy system through the depth they're able to bring off the bench. He worked tirelessly and crossed accurately.
Moudi Najjar - 7
Brilliant impact, picked up fantastic positions.
Western Sydney Wanderers
Nick Suman - 6
He’s notably imposing for one of the league’s youngest starters. Didn’t quite live up to his wisened demeanour, getting the run-around for City’s opener, yet still had the nous not to get sent off…unlike some Wanderers’ keepers…
Tate Russell - 6
Nothing special, conceded a few cheap chances, but not guilty of that many mistakes either.
Raúl Llorente - 7
Lots of running, pushing himself into promising positions as the Spaniard seeks to sneak his way back into Markus Babbel’s side.
Tass Mourdoukoutas - 7
Tidy header to equalise in the second half. Had his moments but calm and composed defensively, generally forcing City into long shots.
Tarek Elrich - 6
He headlocked two City players simultaneously in a scuffle. He must have had a good wrestle with Ahmad as a kid. Didn’t do much else.
Keanu Baccus - 5
Produced a few excellent moments in midfield, then got sent off for a ridiculous challenge. Western Sydney pay for their lack of experience, height, physicality – you name it, they don’t really have it in the centre of the park.
Jaushua Sotirio - 7
Basically copied Brattan’s goal, stunning strike, but he wastes so many opportunities. He also earned a very soft penalty, but do you take or give points for that?
Jordan O'Doherty - 6
Cross for Mourdoukoutas’ goal oozed perfection but he was a bit sloppy otherwise.
Roly Bonevacia - 7
Few fantastic stinging efforts, calmly converted from the spot. He’s finally playing with the sort of confidence we saw at the Nix again, burly, dictating. The Wanderers need another seven of him at least.
Nick Fitzgerald - 6
His work-rate’s never been a problem, he’s just the sort of forward who’ll hit a wonder strike then disappear for half an hour.
Abraham Majok - 7
Unsure if it’s his height and lanky build but he looks so gangly on the ball it’s a miracle he can move his feet so quickly. Lots of quality on the ball.
Marc Tokich - 6
Few cheap giveaways.
Bruce Kamau - N/A
Oriol Riera - N/A