Jamie Maclaren starred with a hat-trick as A-League leaders Brisbane Roar demolished Melbourne Victory 5-0 at Suncorp Stadium.
Roar striker Maclaren offered up the perfect response to being left out of Australia’s international squad in midweek and got the scoring underway by sweeping home in the 18th minute.
He lobbed Danny Vukovic for a stylish second four minutes later and left-back Corey Brown marked his return to the starting XI by scoring via a deflection off Besart Berisha 10 minutes into the second half.
Corona was on target after Vukovic saved from Maclaren but the latter would not be denied the matchball as he poached the final goal at the far post three minutes from time.
John Aloisi’s men are back two points ahead of Adelaide United at the summit, while the vanquished Victory are sixth – three points ahead of Sydney, who lost 3-1 at home to Wellington Phoenix.
Hopes of reaching the finals are dwindling for Graham Arnold’s side, who were put to the sword by three first-half goals from Blake Powell, Hamish Watson and Roly Bonevacia.
Filip Holosko capitalised on an error from Phoenix goalkeeper Glen Moss early in the second half but there would be no further encouragement for Sydney.
Bottom club Central Coast Mariners find themselves 13 points adrift of Wellington after going down nine men in the 4-0 defeat to Perth Glory – in-form striker Andy Keogh netting a brace.
The Mariners’ indiscipline began in the fourth minute when Chris Harold was brought down by Tomislav Uskok and Diego Castro converted the resulting penalty.
Mitch Austin and Luis Garcia collected their second bookings either side of Keogh heading home Josh Ridson’s 53rd-minute cross and the former Republic of Ireland striker scored the next spot kick when Ridson drew a foul from visiting captain Nick Montgomery.
Ridson was involved once more in stoppage time, with Harold rising to head in from his centre and complete Central Coast’s misery.