Phoenix turn on the style to hammer Melbourne

01:44, Jan 19 2014
Wellington Phoenix gallery 2013/24
Phoenix players are distraught after Brisbane Roar scored a late winner.
Wellington Phoenix gallery 2013/24
Carlos Hernandez (left) avoids a high foot from Roar player Jack Hingert.
Wellington Phoenix gallery 2013/24
Fans show their support for the Wellington Phoenix at the opening game of the season.
Wellington Phoenix gallery 2013/24
Steyn Huysegems celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the season for Wellington Phoenix.
Wellington Phoenix gallery 2013/14
Carlos Hernandez (right) competes with Mateo Poljak of the Western Sydney Wanderers for the ball.
Wellington Phoenix gallery 2013/14
Wellington Phoenix players celebrate after Jeremy Brockie scored the equalising goal against Western Sydney Wanderers.
Wellington Phoenix gallery 2013/14
Jeremy Brockie celebrates after scoring the equalising goal against Western Sydney Wanderers.
Wellington Phoenix gallery 2013/14
Manny Muscat (right) of the Phoenix appeals to the referee after a heavy clash with Aaron Mooy of the Wanderers.
Wellington Phoenix 2013/14 gallery
Phoenix fans were out in force at the home game away from home in Napier.
Wellington Phoenix 2013/14 gallery
Manny Muscat is tackled by Josh Brillante of the Newcastle Jets.
Wellington Phoenix 2013/14 gallery
Jeremy Brockie breaks away from Andrew Hoole.
Wellington Phoenix 2013/14 gallery
Ben Sigmund and Ruben Zadkovich compete for the ball.
Wellington Phoenix 2013/14 gallery
James Troisi of the Victory gets past Andrew Durante in Melbourne.
Wellington Phoenix 2013/14 gallery
Carlos Hernandez kicks a corner for the Phoenix against Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium.
Wellington Phoenix 2013/14 gallery
Louis Fenton of the Phoenix and Archie Thompson of the Victory contest for the ball.
Wellington Phoenix 2013/14 gallery
Reece Caira encounters a feathered opponent at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.
Jeremy Brockie
Jeremy Brockie plays the ball on a side-foot volley.
Carlos Hernandez and Jeremy Brockie
Carlos Hernandez and Jeremy Brockie try to convince referee Alan Millier.
Vince Lia
Phoenix midfielder Vince Lia gets mocked by Perth's Steve Pantelides and Jacob Burns.
Wellington Phoenix mascot
The Wellington Phoenix interacts with young fans in Christchurch.
Wellington Phoenix fans
Wellington Phoenix fans watch on as the Perth Glory attack.
Ben Sigmund
Ben Sigmund (right) battles with Michael Thwaite as they await a cross.
Andrew Durante
Andrew Durante competes for the ball with Perth's Ryan Edwards.
Stein Huysegems
Stein Huysegems (centre) celebrates his 36th minute goal with team-mates.
Paul Ifill
Paul Ifill takes out the legs of Steven McGarry.
Wellington Phoenix gallery 2014
Carlos Hernandez (centre) celebrates his goal with Steyn Huysegems (left) and Jeremy Brockie.
Wellington Phoenix gallery 2014
Albert Riera (left) receives a yellow card from referee Shaun Evans.
Wellington Phoenix gallery 2014
The Brisbane Roar celebrate after Ivan Franjic (left) scored the winning goal against the Wellington Phoenix.
Wellington Phoenix gallery 2014
Liam Miller of the Roar and Kenny Cunningham of the Phoenix compete for the ball.
Stein Huysegems
Stein Huysegems celebrates with Tyler Boyd after his 75th minute match-winning goal against the Heart.
Stein Huysegems
Stein Huysegems is sandwiched by Leo Bertos and Tyler Boyd after his goal.
Louis Fenton
Louis Fenton leaps to head the ball away as Albert Riera watches.
Albert Riera
Albert Riera slides in but misses the tackle on Michael Mifsud.
Ben Sigmund
Ben Sigmund leaps over Michael Mifsud to head the ball away.
Andrew Durante
Andrew Durante is shown a yellow card by referee Strebre Delovski.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Nikolai Topor-Stanley of the Wanderers competes with Jeremy Brockie of the Phoenix during the round 13 A-League match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix at Parramatta Stadium.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Wellington Phoenix players huddle after the round 13 A-League match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix at Parramatta Stadium.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Andrew Durante of the Phoenix huddles with his team-mates after the round 13 A-League match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix at Parramatta Stadium.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Kenny Cunningham of the Phoenix controls the ball during the round 13 A-League match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Wellington Phoenix at Parramatta Stadium.
Wellington Phoenix gallery
Manny Muscat (left) and Stein Huysegems celebrate after the win over Melbourne Victory.
Wellington Phoenix gallery
Stein Huysegems is congratulated by his team mates after scoring against Melbourne Victory.
Wellington Phoenix gallery
Kenny Cunningham looks skyward after scoring against the Mlebourne Victory.
Wellington Phoenix gallery
Jesse Makarounas of the Victory and Albert Riera of the Phoenix compete for the ball.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Goalkeeper Michael Theo of the Roar clears the ball the the Phoenix on the attack in Brisbane.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Devante Clut of the Roar competes for the ball with Albert Riera.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Carlos Hernandex of the Phoenix, right, is tackled by Tarek Elrich of Adelaide.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Young Wellington Phoenix fans enjoying the day out at Eden Park.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Emmanuel Muscat and Andrew Durante shake hands at the end of the Phonenix's victory over Adelaide.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Ernie Merrick thanks the fans after the Phoenix's win over Adelaide at Eden Park.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Ben Sigmund in action for the Phoenix against the Jets in Newcastle.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Emmanuel Muscat of the Phoenix falls to the ground in Newcastle.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Stein Huysegems of the Phoenix feels the heat of the Newcastle sun.
Jeremy Brockie
Jeremy Brockie rushes to celebrate his goal with Stein Huysegems (right) and Reece Caira.
Glen Moss
Phoenix keeper Glen Moss makes a save off the line against Central Coast.
Glen Moss
Phoenix keeper Glen Moss had a rough outing against the Melbourne Heart.
Stein Huysegems
Striker Stein Huysegems carries the ball forward into the Heart of Melbourne's defence.
Manny Muscat
Manny Muscat roars with delight after a Wellington Phoenix goal in Gosford.
Wellington Phoenix
The Wellington Phoenix wall protects themselves before a free-kick.
Wellington Phoenix
The Wellington Phoenix wall remains resolute against the Heart.
Kenny Cunningham
Kenny Cunningham celebrates his goal against the Mariners.
Alan Milliner
Referee Alan Milliner warns Phoenix striker Kenny Cunningham.
Wellington Stadium
Still plenty of empty yellow seats were around as the Wellington Phoenix drew one of their best home crowds against the Heart.
Michael Boxall
Phoenix defender Michael Boxall challenges Adelaide's Awer Mabil for the ball at Cooper's Stadium.
Ben Sigmund
Ben Sigmund is talked to by referee Lucien Laverdure during the Phoenix's loss in Adelaide.
Manny Muscat
Manny Muscat turns and chases a through-ball by Adelaide.
Glen Moss
Phoenix keeper Glen Moss checks on the health of Adelaide striker Jeronimo Neumann.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Wellington Phoenix's Kenny Cunningham gets the ball under control against Perth Glory at Westpac Stadium.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Wellington Phoenix's Roy Krishna on the attack against Perth Glory.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Phoenix fans react to a near miss for their team against Perth Glory.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Vince Lia of the Phoenix beats the defence of Chris Harold of the Glory.
Ben Sigmund
Ben Sigmund is shown a red card by referee Ben Williams against the Melbourne Heart after his second bookable offence.
Ben Sigmund
Ben Sigmund challenges Harry Kewell for the ball, which lead to his second yellow card.
Manny Muscat
Manny Muscat turns and chases the Melbourne Heart's Iain Ramsey.
Manny Muscat
Phoenix players appeal for leniency as referee Ben Williams flashes another yellow card.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Wellington Phoenix players huddle together before their clash with Adelaide United at Westpac Stadium.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Phoenix player Tyler Boyd goes down under a challenge from Adelaide's Bruce Djite.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Ben Sigmund of the Phoenix, right, and Michael Zullo of Adelaide clash for the ball.
Wellington Phoenix in 2013/14
Shaun Timmins of the Phoenix gets a yellow card after a poor tackle on Adelaide's Marcelo Carrusca.

These are not your father's Phoenix.

No, your dad's lot lived in a state of siege, were entirely risk averse, often strangers to possession and utterly awful to watch.

The new breed play in the same yellow and black strip, otherwise there isn't the slightest resemblance to the old Phoenix teams which so often stunk up the A-League.

It was two-time league champions, the Melbourne Victory, who came to Wellington's Westpac Stadium tonight, with a justified reputation as being one of the great football-playing sides of this competition. 

And they got taken to the cleaners by Ernie Merrick's Phoenix men, losing 5-0 on a night when the home side looked likely from the first whistle.

Few people could have expected a performance, and result, as comprehensive as this - even Merrick, the man who guided the Victory to those titles and was basically brought back from the coaching wilderness by the Phoenix.

He'd probably be the first to tell you, though, that he knew something special was brewing at his new club, who came into this match on a four-game unbeaten run, which included beating the Western Sydney Wanderers 3-1 at Pirtek Stadium.

But the domination the Phoenix enjoyed here at home, particularly while Carlos Hernandez was on the park, was something else again.

The Costa Rican, who was surprisingly subbed after 50 minutes having scored two goals and had a hand in the other, tormented his former club. 

Hernandez might not get up and down the park like some, but he oozes quality and applies it liberally when the mood takes him.

The Phoenix had threatened long before Hernandez gave them the lead in the 18th minute, when he picked the ball up just inside the Victory penalty area, took a touch and then drilled a right-foot shot across goalkeeper Nathan Coe and into the bottom corner.

Chances continued to come and it was Hernandez's fellow Costa Rican, Kenny Cunningham, who took the next. 

Played in by Hernandez, about 10-metres outside the Victory's area, Cunningham let fly with a volley that dipped and swerved beyond Coe to put the Phoenix up 2-0.

All the while, the Victory's much-vaunted quartet of Archie Thompson, Gui Finkler, James Troisi and Kosta Barbarouses, who was continually booed by a good chunk of the 6813 crowd, could barely get a touch.

Playing in his home town, Barbarouses was as lively as any of them on the rare occasions his team were in a position to try and play.

The Phoenix were having no such problems and it was Hernandez who sealed all three points, in first half added time.

Cunningham looked like he might conjure something down the left, before Hernandez nicked the ball off him, ducked into the penalty area and made the most of some contact from Rashid Mahazi. 
Referee Adam Kersey pointed to the spot and, after sending Coe the wrong way, Hernandez made it 3-0.

The Phoenix were worth every one of the goals and you wonder how many they might've mustered in the second half, had Hernandez played more of it. 

He looked very grumpy with Merrick and there was none of the handshakes or hugs that players and coaches usually exchange when a star performer gets an early bath.

The smile was back by fulltime, though, as Jeremy Brockie and Stein Huysegems goals capped off a performance by which all Phoenix performances will now be judged.

Wellington Phoenix 5 (Carlos Hernandez 18', 45', Kenny Cunningham 44', Jeremy Brockie 85', Stein Huysegems 87') Melbourne Victory 0. HT: 3-0. Crowd: 6813. 

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Kenny Cunningham
WONDER STRIKE: Kenny Cunningham scored a contender for the goal of the season, Wellington Phoenix beat Melbourne Victory 5-0.

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