Jamie Maclaren and Andrew Nabbout shone as Melbourne City leapt into second place on the A-League table with a 3-0 win over Macarthur FC.
Melbourne City have stormed past Macarthur FC 3-0 to win their fourth game on the bounce and highlight their A-League title credentials.
Form striker Jamie Maclaren scored a three-minute brace with Craig Noone adding the third goal as City dismantled the Bulls to leapfrog the A-League newcomers into second place.
City effectively wrapped up three points in a 13-minute scoring blitz, with Socceroo Andrew Nabbout - an off-season signing who has been excellent since returning from an early-season hamstring injury - having a hand in all three goals at AAMI Park.
"Since he's come back he's showed a lot of great qualities and we're always trying to improve him in our style and the way we process that," coach Patrick Kisnorbo said.
"He's great to work with - he wants to learn, wants to improve and when you have players like that in your squad, it makes things easier."
Macarthur were left to rue multiple costly turnovers and defensive lapses.
In the 23rd minute, Nabbout slid a brilliant ball through to Nathaniel Atkinson - after Macarthur failed to track the full-back's run - who dinked a cross to the back post for Maclaren to head home.
Two minutes later, City skipper Scott Jamieson sliced a delightful ball through to Nabbout, who worked a pass to a criminally-unmarked Maclaren.
The Socceroo's first shot was cleared off the line by Antony Golec but Maclaren reacted quickest to bury the rebound - his 10th goal in as many matches this season.
Maclaren just missed a chance to snare his hat-trick in the 34th minute but City scored a minute later.
Nabbout released Noone, who cut inside Mark Milligan, sending the Bulls skipper sprawling, then casually finished on his right foot.
While City eased off in the second half, Macarthur were unable to mount a response and suffered their second-consecutive loss.
"When we conceded that first one, I think that took a little bit out of us and then to concede the second one immediately, 2-0, became too much for us," Macarthur coach Ante Milicic said.
"We got punished a lot at the start of the game in transition.
"So by giving it away, particularly in our back four with their speed and their movement, we couldn't deal with it and in the end, congratulations to Melbourne City - they were by far the better team on the night."
The Bulls could drop to as low as seventh by the end of the weekend, with Western Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC all within two points.
Meanwhile City are six points behind leaders Central Coast, who they host at AAMI Park on March 22.