Melbourne City continue to close in on their maiden A-League Premiership in fine style after the league leaders beat Adelaide United 4-1 at AAMI Park on Thursday night to open up an 11-point buffer at the top.
Patrick Kisnorbo's side did live dangerously at times during the meeting with fourth-placed Adelaide, with the visitors hopeful of causing a shock early in the second half when Ben Halloran halved a two-goal half-time deficit established by City fullbacks Scott Jamieson and Scott Galloway.
However, as they have been all season, City were just too clinical and ultimately Adelaide were handily beaten by the A-League's competition frontrunners.
Socceroos striker Jamie Maclaren finished confidently from the penalty spot after Josh Cavallo felled Stefan Colakovski, before Marco Tilio laid on goal number 24 of the season for the City marksman to round up a devastating second half salvo.
It leaves City with one hand on the Premiers Plate. Kisnorbo's men host Wellington Phoenix on Sunday, before welcoming second-placed Central Coast Mariners to Melbourne Saturday week.
The tone for City's 14th win of the A-League season was set early when Jamieson's curling effort deflected off Jordan Elsey's outstretched leg, wrongfooting the ex-City custodian James Delianov and sending the AAMI Park faithful into raptures.
Adelaide responded well to going down and did force Tom Glover into action - with the City goalkeeper lucky not to serve up a direct equaliser to Craig Goodwin after an attempted pass out from the back gone wrong - but despite being on the back foot, City doubled their lead on the stroke of half time when Galloway was untracked off a short corner routine to blast across Delianov.
The visitors were good for a goal, and deservedly found the net five minutes after the interval when Halloran fired home at the back post.
Glover had palmed away Kusini Yengi's effort, the striker having darted between City defenders to divert Goodwin's wicked ball goalward. And Adelaide may have equalised had George Timotheou mustered a slice of composure to nod in another sensational Goodwin delivery.
It was a miss that proved crucial. The twisting and turning of Colakovski drew a foul from Cavallo, and Maclaren was only too keen to slam in the resulting penalty.
It got better for City and their in-form number nine, who added number four on the night and 24 for the campaign by applying a neat back post finish after Tilio's enchanting run.
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