The Wellington Phoenix have to regroup after a second straight 3-0 home loss dropped them down to third place on the congested A-League football table.
Sunday night's defeat handed the Melbourne Victory top spot with three games of the regular season remaining, taking the visitors two points clear of the Phoenix.
Meanwhile a potentially nasty knee injury to veteran striker Joel Griffiths could make matters worse for the Phoenix, who also lost 3-0 in Wellington last week, to Sydney FC.
Gui Finkler scored after only 35 seconds for the Victory, the Brazilian left in acres of space to slot a right-foot shot low in to the net after Besart Berisha exposed some careless Phoenix defending.
An own goal by Andrew Durante on the hour mark made it 2-0 with Archie Thompson completing the rout seven minutes later.
Adelaide United are second, one point back but having played a game more, after they rode their luck to beat another fellow Premiers' Plate challengers Sydney 1-0.
The Perth Glory, embroiled in an investigation into an alleged salary cap breach, can tighten up the title race further and join the Victory at the top on 44 points if they can win at the Newcastle Jets on Monday.