Three-time champions Melbourne City have fired a warning shot to W-League rivals with a 2-1 win over Sydney FC in a match between the competition's favourites.
Melbourne City's all-star side have made a statement of intent with a 2-1 victory over reigning champions Sydney FC in a W-League heavyweight match-up at Cromer Park.
A second-half winner from Serbian import Milica Mijatovic ensured City came out on top on Sunday in an action-packed contest, featuring numerous goalscoring opportunities at both ends.
After enduring several faltering campaigns, the result pushes City to within touching distance of top spot - a position they haven't held for three years.
The Melbourne outfit trail surprise leaders Western Sydney only on goal difference after four rounds, with Sydney FC slipping to third.
With 16 internationals on the pitch, 10 of whom belonged to the visitors, there was no shortage of attacking creativity.
City made the perfect start as Emily van Egmond scored with a smart finish, claiming the dividends at the end of a clinical counter-attack after just three minutes.
Scottish forward Claire Emslie then prodded a shot against the post as City finally looked like they were finding their rhythm after an inconsistent start to the season.
Sydney FC, defending a five-match winning streak, came back with a vengeance and, after Princess Ibini spurned a couple of good openings, Sofia Huerta fired home just the interval.
However, Mijatovic crashed home the winner with 14 minutes remaining after the Sky Blues allowed a cross to drop loose in the penalty area.
Despite their star roster, there was no shortage of pragmatism on display from City in the final stages as they held on for a third one-goal win in succession.
Matildas' regular Alanna Kennedy returned to the fray at halftime after an injury absence in one of the few positives for the Sky Blues.
Meanwhile, star American import Lynn Williams netted her first goal of the season to help the Wanderers maintain their unbeaten start with a 1-1 draw on Saturday against premiers Melbourne Victory at Morwell.
Winless Perth continued their freefall after Sam Kerr's departure, as Newcastle claimed a 2-1 victory across the Nullarbor, with Tara Andrews bagging the winner.
Brisbane finally found winning ways with their 2-1 triumph over Canberra United helping one of the competition's glamour sides to avoid a club-record three defeats to open the season.