Brisbane Roar coach Ruben Zadkovich has warned rivals that his team will only improve after gaining revenge on Melbourne City in remarkable fashion at Suncorp Stadium.
Beaten 8-1 by City at AAMI Park less than seven weeks ago, the Roar went on a rampage on Saturday night with a 5-1 home win over the shell-shocked Melbourne outfit.
A Thomas Waddingham brace was complemented by single goals from Kai Trewin, Jay O’Shea and Keegan Jelacic as the Roar – who had not tasted victory since January 14 – won the first time under the recently appointed Zadkovich.
“The scary part is that I don’t actually think we were at our best,” Zadkovich told Paramount +.
“In front of goal we were obviously really clinical which is great, but in that mid-third there are definitely some transition moments that we can exploit.
“There are so many areas to improve … (but) the credit belongs to the players. They were fantastic.”
For City – who trailed 5-0 before scoring a consolation goal through substitute Terry Antonis – the embarrassing loss was their fourth defeat in five matches and further evidence of their defensive deficiencies, with the Aurelio Vidmar-coached team having conceded nine goals in its past two games.
It’s anything but the form City need to be in ahead of next Saturday’s derby against Melbourne Victory.
“It was a pretty poor effort,” Vidmar said.
“We lost a lot of contests, we gave away a couple of sloppy goals early, and just struggled under a little bit of adversity.
“We’re not turning up at some stages … it’s very difficult to take. It’s disappointing for everyone
“We can’t (just) move on. We have to analyse it and try to improve like we do every week.
“The process is absolutely the same. We’re going into a big game (against the Victory) with a terrible performance like that.”
The visitors also struggled in attack, with City skipper Jamie Maclaren’s goal drought extending to a sixth match.
Socceroos winger Marco Tilio made his first appearance for City since rejoining the club on loan from Scottish giants Celtic.
However, like the rest of his teammates, he had next to no impact after coming on a substitute in the 58th-minute.
The home side made a dream start, going ahead in just the second minute through the unlikely source of Trewin.
The 22-year-old defender scored his maiden goal in 95 A-League appearances, heading home an O’Shea corner that had been flicked on at the near post by Jelacic.
Trewin almost scored again in the 14th minute with another header that hit the post.
However, the Roar weren’t to be denied on the half-hour mark, doubling their lead through teenage striker Thomas Waddingham, who got in between City defenders Jordon Hall and Scott Galloway to tap home a near-post cross from winger Nikola Mileusnic.
Worse was to follow for a shell-shocked City three minutes later when star Roar midfielder O’Shea made the most of too much space afforded to him to increase his side’s lead to 3-0 with a long-distance strike that was too good for ex-Brisbane goalkeeper Jamie Young.
Incredibly, the Roar scored a fourth goal in the 39th minute, again from distance, this time from Jelacic.
It was also too much for one City fan, who unleashed a verbal tirade on the Melbourne club’s players as they left the field for the half-time break.
And the supporter had more to be angry about just a minute after half-time when the impressive Waddingham scored his second and the Roar’s fifth with a powerful strike after dispossessing City’s ex-Socceroos defender Curtis Good.
Antonis scored in the 73rd minute for City but it was nothing more than a consolation goal for the outclassed Melbourne side.
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