Victory run riot

Melbourne has broken its Newcastle hoodoo in emphatic fashion, hammering the Jets 5-0 at Telstra Dome and stamping its credentials as a title contender.

Melbourne has broken its Newcastle hoodoo in emphatic fashion, hammering the Jets 5-0 at Telstra Dome and stamping its credentials as a title contender.

It had been nearly two years, and five Hyundai A-League encounters, since Victory had last beaten the Jets, but first half goals from Carlos Hernandez and Archie Thompson, a second half double from Danny Allsopp and a late one from Grant Brebner secured coach Ernie Merrick's first A-League win over Gary van Egmond. Melbourne's unbeaten start to the season now features a draw and two wins.

Merrick described his team's efforts as ' a good day in the office' and was delighted with the attacking style of football his player employed.

"What was most pleasing was the fluent attacking football in the front third and the number of high-quality interpassing," he said. "That's some of the best football we've played in a very long time."

Last season's Hyundai A-League champions will rue defensive errors which cost them dearly in the first half, but were simply outclassed by a home side playing dynamic football. The Jets are now without a win in their first three matches of their title defence.

An unremarkable first 30 minutes featured little in the way of goalmouth action, with Rody Vargas having the best of the chances with his header deflected away by Ante Covic's foot. Tarek Elrich was booked, while Melbourne was forced to replace an injured Michael Thwaite, and decided to attack by bringing on Archie Thompson.

In the lead-up to the first goal, either team could have scored. On 33 minutes, Allsopp's well hit shot was met by Covic, but Ben Kantarovski was needed to stop the ball from going in the net. Thompson had a shot blocked and Ney Fabiano should have done better with the rebound.

A defensive mix-up almost allowed Matt Thompson in up the other end, with Michael Theoklitos forced into a diving save.

But Melbourne's nerves were eased when Thompson was allowed to turn and run at the Newcastle defence on 40 minutes. He found Hernandez with a neat pass and the Costa Rican smashed the ball home.

Worse was to come for the Jets, with Jade North handing a chance for Ney Fabiano to shoot over before a Covic blunder gifted the Victory a 2-0 half time lead.

The experienced stopper mis-hit his goal kick straight to Ney Fabiano, who fed Thompson, who then had no trouble replicating the efforts of Hernandez from a similar spot a few minutes earlier.

Thompson continued to torment the Jets defence in the second half and on the hour mark it was 3-0, when another errant Jets pass was seized on by the Melbourne striker. He ran deep into the box and delivered the ball across the face for Allsopp to tap in at the far post.

Allsopp made it a pair just three minutes later thanks to a neat little pass over the top from Ney Fabiano which set him free on goal. Covic had little hope of stopping his gentle but accurate effort.

Adam D'Apuzzo deflected Evan Berger's dangerous free kick while Hernandez ruffled the top of the net as the pressure continued to build on the Jets defence.

They couldn't quite hold on until the end, however, as Brebner, with his first touch, smashed the ball through about six sets of legs and into the back of the net in stoppage time to make it 5-0.

Van Egmond was left to lament a poor effort across the pitch and said it was close to the worse the Jets have played under him

"It was pretty poor, especially in the second half," he said. "The goal just prior to the end of the first half was a real killer."

"That was a very un-Newcastle performance out there tonight."

Melbourne Victory 5 (Hernandez 40, Thompson 45+, Allsopp 60, 63, Brebner 90+) Newcastle Jets 0 Crowd: 22,589 at Telstra Dome