Melbourne City FC continued its Hyundai A-League resurgence on Tuesday evening, securing a commanding 5-2 win over Newcastle Jets at Hunter Stadium.
A blistering first-half from City saw John van't Schip's side race to a 3-0 lead at the break, with an early penalty from Aaron Mooy, and first A-League goals to Damien Duff and Robert Koren.
Both sides exchanged goals in the second half, with City finding two more as Koren secured a hat-trick, while Edson Montano and Jeronimo Neumann pulled back consolation goals for the home side.
It was Koren's first start of the season for City, while Duff was also handed his first start since returning from a calf injury, although the former Ireland international and Koren both featured as substitutes in last Friday's 1-1 draw with Perth Glory.
It proved a fantastic first start for Koren, who scored a hat-trick and registered an impressive performance across 70 minutes as the Slovenian looks to build match fitness.
In City's final match of 2014, van't Schip's side were off to an ideal start when a sensational run from Duff on the right wing resulted in a penalty, as Jets defender Allan Welsh brought the Irishman down from behind in the box.
In-form midfielder Aaron Mooy stepped up to slot home from the spot, sending Jets 'keeper Ben Kennedy the wrong way in the fourth minute.
Just five minutes later, City were 2-0 to the good with Koren netting his first A-League goal after some industrious work from Ben Garuccio down the left.
Garuccio advanced on the left wing after finding space, before slotting Koren through on goal, after a slight deflection off Jets defender Scott Neville.
Koren buried the chance with aplomb, tucking home the chance on his left foot past Kennedy.
It was to get better for the visitors from a corner in the 24th minute, as Duff profited from Kisnorbo's lay-back in a crowded penalty area.
With a sea of legs in front of him, Duff drove home the pass from City's captain, with the effort too powerful for Kennedy to keep out.
With a 3-0 lead at the break, Melbourne City looked comfortable but Newcastle continued to look a threatening outfit and proved dangerous going forward.
But it was City who all but sealed the match in the 63rd minute as Koren found his second and the side's fourth.
A great run from second-half substitute David Williams saw Duff unleashed on the right and the Irishman provided an inch-perfect ball across the penalty area for Koren to tap home in the six-yard box.
Melbourne City unfortunately lapsed in the 71st minute and allowed Newcastle to pull a goal back through Montano, although the goal was well-worked and executed.
David Carney provided a tantalising cross form the outside of his boot which Neumann flicked on with his head and Montano headed home past 'keeper Tando Velaphi for a neat goal.
It was 5-1 City just three minutes later as Koren sealed his hat-trick after a great cut-back from Mate Dugandzic.
Another goal came five minutes later in a frantic period for both sides, with Neumann pouncing on sloppy defensive work in the City box.
But the match belonged to Melbourne and finished 5-2 to the visitors, who finish 2014 by closing the gap on fifth-placed Sydney FC.
Melbourne City face Central Coast Mariners on January 4 in the Club's next match.
Hyundai A-League Round 13
Tuesday 30 December 2014
Newcastle Jets 2 (Edson MONTANO 71', Jeronimo NEUMANN 79')
Melbourne City FC 5 (Aaron MOOY 4', Koren 9', 63', 74', Duff 24')
Venue: Hunter Stadium
Newcastle Jets: Kennedy, Neville (Pepper 67’), Madaschi (Neumann 61’), Welsh, Virgili (Jaliens 46’), Kantarovski, Caravella, Hoole, Griffiths, Montano, Carney
Melbourne City: Velaphi, Wielaert, Chapman, Kisnorbo, Garuccio, Paartalu, Mooy, Melling (Williams 55’), Koren (Ramsay 75’), Brown (Dugandzic 64’), Duff
Scorers: Mooy 4’, Koren 9’, 63’ and 74’, Duff 24’, Montano 71’, Jeronimo 79’
Red cards: none
Yellow cards: Melling 13’, Virgili 20’, Griffiths 26’, Duff 58’, Paartalu 76’