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Melbourne City smashes Perth Glory 8-0 to stay firmly in A-League finals race

Perth’s Bruce Kamau challenges Melbourne City’s Tolgay Arslan in Sunday’s 8-0 win at AAMI Park.

Perth’s Bruce Kamau challenges Melbourne City’s Tolgay Arslan in Sunday’s 8-0 win at AAMI Park. Photo: Getty

With its back against the wall, Melbourne City has put Perth to the sword with a record 8-0 thumping to draw within a point of the A-League Men top six.

City scored five goals in the opening 29 minutes to put the result well and truly beyond doubt, then went on to inflict the heaviest ever defeat in league history.

The brilliant Tolgay Arslan scored a hat-trick, netting in the 16th, 26th and 73rd minutes at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Leo Natel netted a brace in the 14th and 29th minutes, while Jamie Maclaren steered home City’s sixth on the hour mark and Steven Ugarkovic slammed home in the 86th.

Glory youngster Kaelan Majekodunmi scored an own goal in the 19th minute.

It is the third time this season City has scored seven goals or more, after beating Brisbane 8-1 and Western Sydney 7-0 earlier in the campaign.

In the process, City leapt to 33 points, just behind sixth-placed Western Sydney (34), which it plays away next Saturday.

With Aurelio Vidmar back on the touchline after missing three games through illness, City was dominant from the outset.

It took the lead when Natel burst down the left, then cut onto his right and fired into the roof of the net.

Two minutes later, Mathew Leckie slid in to intercept a Perth pass in defence, pushing the ball into the path of Arslan to score.

In the 19th minute, Leckie’s skidding cross forced Majekodunmi to turn the ball into his own net.

Seven minutes later, Arslan bamboozled Glory’s defence and brilliantly threaded the needle past Oliver Sail for City’s fourth.

The fifth came about in somewhat contentious circumstances.

Arslan teed up Natel for a fantastic goal, but there was a lengthy VAR review to determine whether Jamie Maclaren had been offside and impeding Sail.

The goal was ultimately awarded.

Perth coach Alen Stajcic called upon David Williams and Josh Rawlins at half-time, but Glory’s resistance lasted less than 15 minutes.

On the counter, Natel squared the ball to Maclaren, who was given far too much time and space to steer home City’s sixth.

Ugarkovic teed up Arslan to seal his treble in the 73rd and 13 minutes later, scored himself to complete Perth’s humiliation.

Glory is bottom of the table, equal with Western United on 22 points but with one less win to its name.

Glory faces off in Perth next Sunday in a game that could determine the wooden spoon.

-AAP

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