Melbourne City beat Central Coast Mariners as Storm Roux suffers injury
Melbourne City woke up from a snoozy start to beat Central Coast 4-1, completing a triple set of wins over the A-League minnows.
Mitch Austin gave the Mariners the lead but City stormed back with second-half goals to Patrick Kisnorbo, Ben Garuccio and an Aaron Mooy double.
This was misery for the Mariners, who equalled an A-League record for conceding in their 22nd straight match. Worse still, Storm Roux was stretchered from the ground with a severe injury and Fabio Ferreira was dismissed for a second yellow card in the 85th minute.
It could have been so different for Central Coast after opening the scoring despite marquee man Luis Garcia's absence. After clearing a Mooy corner, the Mariners pounced. Austin broke at pace along the left touchline, out-racing Paulo Retre to curl past Thomas Sorensen.
None of City's four defenders -- all present or past Socceroos -- were present as Austin raced away to score, with Michael Zullo taking Retre to task for not bringing the Englishman down earlier. City were guilty of languid play, and left the field at half-time to boos from the 7,535-strong crowd.
After the break, Mooy redoubled his efforts for rich reward. Mooy whipped in a free kick with such bend that Kisnorbo could barely miss, heading past Paul Izzo on 48 minutes.
While Bruno Fornaroli was having a rare off-day, snatching at chances he would normally bury, the Uruguayan was involved in the match's decisive move. Izzo made a terrific double save from Fornaroli and Fitzgerald, with Garuccio's shot also cleared off the line by Justin Rose. Recovering the ball, Fitzgerald's run was clipped by Jacob Poscoliero for a clear penalty.
It was only after the penalty's awarding that Roux's plight became clear. The right-back writhed in agony after slipping and appearing to break his ankle. He needed morphine on the pitch before his departure. After a nine-minute break, Mooy resumed to expertly dispatch the penalty past Paul Izzo and give City a long-awaited lead.
Three minutes later, their margin doubled. The Mariners were still adjusting to Roux's departure when Fornaroli slipped Garuccio in behind the defence to lash home at the near post.
With 10 minutes of injury time awarded, Mooy made them count by delivering an inch-perfect free kick in the 100th minute. City added the 4-1 win to 5-1 and 3-1 triumphs earlier this season, reasserting their premiership credentials in style.