Melbourne Victory are back on the winner's list, easing pressure on coach Kevin Muscat and jumping to fourth on the A-League table with a 3-0 defeat of a 10-man Adelaide United.
Leroy George's free kick and James Troisi's deflected header - credited as an own-goal - set Victory on their way.
Reds newboy Dzengis Cavusevic's dismissal for slapping Rhys Williams just minutes after his substitution ended hopes on Saturday night for an out-of-sorts Adelaide side.
Besart Berisha sealed the deal on the hour mark, giving Victory their best home win in 11 months.
Unfortunately for the suffering home fans, there weren't many there to see it.
Just 13,396 turned out at AAMI Park - Victory's lowest home crowd in Melbourne in more than five years.
The scoreline might suggest otherwise but this wasn't the most-polished Victory performance.
Yet it was the result Muscat and his side desperately craved after a winless month and three straight A-League losses.
Muscat, out of contract at season's end, can look forward to next weekend's derby without increasing speculation on his future.
He delighted in the assured performance given Victory arrived back from an Asian Champions League encounter in China late on Thursday.
"If I can use a word to summarise it, I thought we were in control," Muscat said.
"I'm very pleased.
"We started very well and really caused them a hell of a lot of issues."
With captain Carl Valeri missing from the line-up after Victory's mid-week exertions, Troisi took the armband and started the rout.
He headed George's cross into the path of goal on 22 minutes, with Paul Izzo and Taylor Regan bumbling efforts to clear the ball, resulting in an own-goal to the defender.
George then won and scored off a fabulous free kick after half-an-hour to extend Victory's lead.
Adelaide didn't manage a shot on goal in the first half, but weren't helped by rookie referee Alex King.
The sixth-gamer missed a factory-grade foul by Williams in the lead-up to Victory's opener and a possible penalty when Kosta Barbarouses fouled Jordan O'Doherty on the edge of the box.
In any case, Cavusevic's petulant act on 55 minutes sealed their fate.
Adelaide coach Marco Kurz said it cost them the chance to come back but it wasn't decisive.
"Our start, it was not good enough," he said.
"Today it was a very experienced team against a young team ... my boys in a lot of situations were too scared."
Berisha iced the result on 59 minutes, sparking wild scenes on the Victory bench when he finished a free-flowing move.
This was a result a long time in waiting for the underperforming heavyweights, and might just spark their season.
Australian Associated Press