City smash Perth 8-0 to stay firmly in ALM finals race

Coach Alen Stajcic says all Perth can do is apologise to their fans after finals-chasing Melbourne City inflicted an 8-0 drubbing on the A-League Men cellar dwellars.

City scored five goals in the opening 29 minutes to put the result well and truly beyond doubt, then went on to inflict the heaviest ever defeat in league history, keeping themselves firmly in finals contention.

The brilliant Tolgay Arslan scored a hat-trick, netting in the 16th, 26th and 73rd minutes at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Leo Natel netted a brace in the 14th and 29th minutes, while Jamie Maclaren steered home City's sixth on the hour mark and Steven Ugarkovic slammed home in the 86th.

Glory youngster Kaelan Majekodunmi scored an own goal in the 19th minute.

"It was pretty poor," Stajcic told Paramount Plus.

"It was obviously a capitulation there for that half an hour period at the end of the first half. It was 0-0 after (13) minutes and then five goals in 15 minutes and we looked like we were on ice skates there for a long time.

"We couldn't keep our feet, couldn't tackle, couldn't pass, couldn't dribble. It was pretty poor. 

"There was actually quite a few turnovers where (they) had an empty shot on goal as well ... and we're all accountable. I'm accountable. The players are accountable as a team.

"It was pretty poor and it's a shame that 100-odd or more fans came out to watch us play and we put on a display like that for them."

Perth are bottom of the table, equal with Western United, who they face at home next Sunday, on 22 points but with one less win to their name.

"Ultimately, all you can do is apologise to everyone who supports the club because it's a pretty poor performance overall," Stajcic said.

"We've got six or seven days now to pick ourselves up and fight Western United off for the wooden spoon.

"So I'm already looking forward to that game. You've got to forget about this one. You got to learn from it. You gotta move on and you got to fight."

Alen Stajcic.
Alen Stajcic was lost for words after Perth's record ALM loss to Melbourne City.

It is the third time this season City have scored seven goals or more, after beating Brisbane 8-1 and Western Sydney 7-0 earlier in the campaign.

In the process, they leapt to 33 points, just behind the sixth-placed Wanderers (34), who they face away next Saturday.

Back on the touchline after missing three games from illness, City coach Aurelio Vidmar lamented his charges dropping off somewhat in the second half.

But he couldn't help but be happy with their first-half efficiency, especially after a disappointing Melbourne derby loss.

"Super effort, they really have bounced back," Vidmar said.

"It was really a game that everyone was really under pressure because we had to win, it was a must-win.

"At the end of the day, that's what we did and that's important."

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