Brilliant Roar demolish Victory
Brisbane Roar showed former coach Ange Postecoglou just how much work he has ahead of him at Melbourne Victory as the defending Hyundai A-League champions thumped them 5-0 on Saturday night.
In his much-anticipated return to Suncorp Stadium, Postecoglou's old charges made good on their promise to send him home a loser by inflicting Victory's worst ever defeat.
The Roar could have scored many more with their relentless pressure high up the pitch far too much for a nervous and undermanned Victory defence to handle.
Without key men Archie Thompson, Marco Rojas and Mark Milligan, a bright start from the visitors was quickly forgotten in the first half when Brisbane scored two goals in the space of a minute.
Victory were completely unprepared for a 22nd-minute assault from Shane Stefanutto's throw-in.
The left-back played in Massimo Murdocca, who lofted the ball towards an onrushing Thomas Broich.
The German's scuffed shot beat Melbourne goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas at his near post.
Moments later, Thomas was again in no man's land when a towering Erik Paartalu headed a Broich corner into an open net.
Besart Berisha joined in the fun in the 64th minute, side-footing home a goal that would never have came about under Postecoglou.
A booming goal kick from Michael Theo went over the heads of Victory's entire rearguard and into the path of Mitch Nichols, who set up the league's reigning golden boot for a simple finish.
Postecoglou's mantra of always playing out from the back allowed no room for such direct routes to goal when he was in charge - but his successor, Rado Vidosic, has turned Brisbane into a less predictable beast.
Thomas was also at fault for the fourth goal, when he was beaten by Nichols to an Ivan Franjic cross in the 81st minute.
Berisha added the final flourish in injury time, poking in a cross from substitute Nick Fitzgerald to seal his brace.
It could have been six, with young gun Ben Halloran hitting the crossbar for the second consecutive week in the dying moments.
Plenty of other Roar players queued up for shots on goal throughout the one-way traffic, with captain Matt Smith and Murdocca both spurning simple chances either side of the interval.
The home side also had two goals chalked off for offside, through Paartalu (fifth minute) and Berisha (70th minute).
Brisbane fan group, the River City Crew, added insult to injury for Postecoglou in the dying moments, unveiling a banner that read 'Without Us, You're Nothing' next to a picture of the two-time championship-winning coach.
Postecoglou sprung a massive selection shock before the match by handing 20-year-old Andrew Nabbout a start.
The young winger has not even played a National Youth League game for Victory yet was preferred ahead of Theo Markelis, Julius Davies and Isaka Cernak in a wide role.
While there was no fairytale debut for him, Nabbout showed why Postecoglou was prepared to gamble on him with some very nice touches before he was withdrawn from the game just after the hour mark.
But in the absence of Thompson and Rojas, Victory looked lost on the few occasions they had the ball in their final third.
Danny Allsopp skied Melbourne's best chance, which came in the second half after they won possession on the edge of Brisbane's own penalty area.
Bet365 Man of the Match: Mitch Nichols The clever midfielder was at the heart of every Roar did, as Vidosic's attacking formation took Victory apart.
Brisbane Roar 5 (Broich 22, Paartalu 23, Berisha 64, 90, Nichols 82)
Melbourne Victory 0
Crowd: 17,364 at Suncorp Stadium