The City boys have made another compelling case for their Premiership candidacy following a dominant 4-0 win at home against Sydney FC in a Grand Final rematch that highlighted the discrepancy between either team's development since last year's showpiece event.
Jordan Bos netted his first senior goal with a cracking volley in the first half before a second-half Mat Leckie brace and Jamie Maclaren's 14th of the season saw the City boys streak ahead and run out comfortable winners.
Here's what we learned from the team's enthralling return to AAMI Park:
'Champions mode' engaged
A quarter of the way through our recent away clash with Brisbane Roar, City's Premiership prospects looked done. Simultaneously, Western United were ahead in their match against the Victory and, had the results stayed the same, the team in green and black would have held a points lead at the top of the table, also with two games in hand.
Obviously, it was a pair of spirited performances from a depleted City squad that initially ensured both that Roar clash and our later Macarthur fixture resulted in important wins, but the Melbourne City team that we've seen over the past week has been a different beast altogether; someone has flicked the 'Champions mode' switch, and Wellington and Sydney have felt its wrath in full effect.
With three consecutive clean sheets and 10 goals scored in our past two, the City boys look like they've got what it takes to streak ahead in the title race and set a daunting points target for United.
The lid's reservedly staying on for now, but for how much longer?
Three clean sheets in a row - where has this side of City been all season?
In an incredible turn of events, City has gone from apparently being in a 'goalkeeping crisis' and 'back to the JvS era' of playing out frantic shootouts to securing three clean sheets in a row and becoming the league's third-best defence on a goals-per-game basis.
"Defence wins championships" is starting to ring true given how our breakaway at the top of the table has been fuelled by airtight defensive displays.
Buoyed by the confidence of a defensive transformation (and, you know... 10 goals in two), the boys will be hoping to muster just one more flawless defensive performance before their departure for Thailand when they contest a high-stakes Melbourne Derby on Saturday.
Our latest gem unearthed
With speculation of a European move for Marco Tilio at season's end potentially compounding the void already created by the confirmed departures of Connor Metcalfe and Nathaniel Atkinson, it feels as though City should be in crisis mode. Yet, it's the emergence of unearthed gems like Jordan Bos that should instill fans with confidence that we have the production line to cope with such a mass exodus, with the young fullback already dubbed 'our next rising star' online following last night's performance.
Even ignoring his incredible goal which proved the difference between the teams at the break, Bos was one of the clear standouts in the first half, influential with his mazey runs to progress the ball further afield whilst also standing strong in his one-on-one defensive duels.
The awkward dynamic between the young left-back's emergence as a reliable starter and positional counterpart Scott Jamieson's role as captain is a topic for another day, but for now, we're just happy to see another Australian youngster flourish at the top level, much to our benefit as City fans.