Melbourne City have rebounded well from back-to-back defeats and a three-week break to register a convincing 4-0 A-League Women win at struggling Newcastle.
The timely return of international forwards Holly McNamara and Maria Rojas were big factors as Melbourne City returned to the A-League Women winners' list with an emphatic 4-0 away win over struggling Newcastle.
Playing their first ALW game in three weeks following the international break and a bye, City rebounded from back-to-back losses with a strong display.
They had 67 per cent of possession and 22 shots to 10, with almost half of those on target, but only made their dominance count in the latter stages.
Chile striker Rojas - the ALW's outstanding player in December but who had not played a club game since that month - was back from international duty and looking very lively.
She opened the scoring in the 25th minute, tapping in from close range after Rhianna Pollicina's shot from McNamara's cut-back rebounded off a post.
"(Rojas) brings a lot, she's something different as you can see today," McNamara said.
Matildas star McNamara, playing her first ALW game in more than a year because of an anterior cruciate ligament injury, constantly caused Newcastle problems with her direct running and shooting.
"It was so good today, I had the most fun with all of the girls out there, it was a really good performance and we're happy with it," she said.
City only wrapped up the points, and gave the scoreline a more accurate look, thanks to three late goals.
Pollicina doubled their lead in the 80th minute with a delightful curling right-foot finish.
Within two minutes it was 3-0 to the visitors when Bryleeh Henry slid the ball past Newcastle goalkeeper Georgina Worth.
Hannah Wilkinson added a fourth from close range in stoppage time, pouncing after Pollicina's shot came back off the bar.
Emily Roach hit the bar for Newcastle just before the end and Cassidy Davis also struck the woodwork In the first half in a game dominated by City.
"It was hot today, Newcastle aren't a bad squad, they are actually a very good squad," McNamara said.
"They make every team work for it and they definitely made us work for it today.
'We were good enough to get the goals at the end."
Second-from-bottom Newcastle slumped to a third-straight loss, a run in which they have conceded 14 goals without managing a single one in return.
They could thank Worth for keeping them in the game until City's late flourish, with the 26-year-old making several fine saves.
She pulled off six stops in the first half alone, most memorably in added time when she blocked a Leticia McKenna shot and smothered the follow up attempt from Rojas.
The win lifted City into second above Sydney, who host ladder-leaders Western United on Sunday.