Melbourne Victory eased the pressure on coach Kevin Muscat and jumped to fourth in the A-League table with a 3-0 win over 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 new boy Dzengis Cavusevic's dismissal for slapping Rhys Williams minutes after his introduction ended the hopes of an out-of-sorts Adelaide side on Saturday night.
Besart Berisha sealed the deal on the hour mark, giving Victory their best home win in 11 months, but only 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 was not 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 the end of the season, can look forward to next weekend's derby without increasing speculation about his future.
"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 lineup after Victory's midweek exertions, Troisi took the armband and started the rout.
He headed George's cross towards goal on 22 minutes, with Paul Izzo and Taylor Regan making a mess of their efforts to clear, resulting in an own goal.
George then won and scored a 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.
King missed a foul by Williams in the lead-up to Victory's opener, as well as 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 Adelaide's fate, but coach Marco Kurz said it was not the only factor.
"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 put the gloss on the result when he finished a free-flowing move after 59 minutes.