Melbourne Victory continued its impressive record against the Central Coast Mariners with a 4-1 win at AAMI Park on Sunday.
Victory produced a dominant display, taking control of the 'Remembrance Round' clash in the first half thanks to goals from Keisuke Honda, James Troisi and Corey Brown.
Mario Shabow pulled one back for Central Coast in the second half, but Josh Hope's first senior goal helped Victory extend its unbeaten run against the Mariners to 16 games.
Ola Toivonen made his Victory debut, setting up Hope's sealer, while teenager Rahmat Akbari also made his first appearance for the club.
After an open start to the encounter, Victory threatened numerous times before taking the lead.
Honda and Troisi tested Mariners goalkeeper Ben Kennedy and Leigh Broxham – a late inclusion into the starting XI following an injury to Jai Ingham in the warm-up – blazed a great chance wide from inside the area in the 20th minute.
The opportunities kept coming for Victory, Kosta Barbarouses missing the target in a one-on-one with Kennedy after a beautifully clipped Troisi pass.
Victory finally got a deserved opening goal through Honda on the half-hour mark.
The 32-year-old won possession high up the pitch before clinically picking out the bottom corner for his second Victory goal.
A 2-0 lead quickly followed for Victory as Troisi scored his first of the season.
Terry Antonis played in the attacker down the left and Troisi clipped a lovely finish over Kennedy from an angle.
Victory continued to push and it found a third before half-time thanks to Brown, to cap a dominant opening 45 minutes.
Broxham was released down the right before cutting back to Antonis, whose blocked shot fell nicely to Brown to sweep in from inside the area.
While Victory continued to dominate, the Mariners pulled a goal back after the hour-mark, Shabow turning in a Ross McCormack strike after Connor Pain's cross from the left.
Georg Niedermeier almost struck in the 84th minute, but the defender's side-footed effort from a Honda set-piece was pushed onto the post by Kennedy, while Lawrence Thomas was needed to snuff out a late chance for McCormack.
Victory sealed its win in additional time, Hope beating Kennedy in a one-on-one after receiving a pass from Toivonen.
Player in focus
What they said – Honda
on his form…
"To be honest, it doesn't matter to me, but the important thing is we win the game. I am so happy the other players scored today and I hope we will get confidence from today."
on the first half…
"Kevin (Muscat, head coach) managed very well. All the players are really concentrating, but I'm not satisfied and I think we can do more so we have to keep going and train hard."
Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Round 4
Melbourne Victory 4 (Keisuke Honda 30', James Troisi 35', Corey Brown 45+2', Josh Hope 90+4')
Central Coast Mariners 1 (Mario Shabow 62')
Melbourne Victory: Thomas (gk); Roux, Deng, Niedermeier, Brown; Valeri (c), Broxham (Hope 75'), Antonis (Toivonen 80'); Honda, Troisi (Akbari 89'); Barbarouses.
Central Coast Mariners: Kennedy (gk); Rowles, Cisse (c), Golec, Clisby; O'Neill, Melling; Pain (Murray 75'), McGlinchey (Hoole 60'), Oar (Shabow 60'); McCormack.
Yellow cards: Valeri 25', Antonis 44', Clisby 69', Hoole 83'
Red cards: Nil
Venue: AAMI Park
After next week's international break, Victory makes the trip to Sydney to face the Sky Blues on Sunday, November 25.