Melbourne Victory put an end to any A-League finals ambitions Western United still harboured after a humiliating 6-1 win at AAMI Park.
Played behind closed doors due to Melbourne's COVID-19 enforced lockdown, 11th-placed Victory raced to a 4-1 half-time lead before adding two more through Elvis Kamsoba and Jacob Butterfield after the break.
A late first-half penalty from United captain Alessandro Diamanti provided his side's lone piece of resistance.
A year on from going within a game of a grand final, the thrashing represents coach Mark Rudan's side's sixth straight loss and completes a run that has seen them go from near finals certainties to being mathematically eliminated with two games to spare.
"Everyone's playing for their future, it's as simple as that," Rudan said. "You find a lot about yourself, everyone associated with the club when you go through nights like this.
"It's a big reset that's required, that's for sure. Sometimes you've just got to assess things and sit down and say 'OK, this is where we're at and this is where we need to be.'
"It's all about looking towards the future right now. I daresay [squad changes are] absolutely important. There are players there that are fighting for their futures. We've got to take a good reset and have a good look at where we're at."
While Victory's hopes of playing finals football were long extinguished, the triumph represented their first-ever win in six attempts against United.
Victory are scheduled to face Melbourne City at Marvel Stadium next Sunday, while United had been set to host Macarthur FC at AAMI Park on Monday night.
Both fixtures, however, may be forced to relocate due to Melbourne's lockdown.
Jake Brimmer opened the scoring with a sweetly taken half-volley in the 12th minute of the contest, before Adama Traore's overlapping run and cross in transition found Rudy Gestede for a second in the 22nd minute.
Ben Folami's driving run and cutback found an open Kamsoba to make it three in the 33rd minute, before the former swanned into the United area and finished at the near post to make it four just three minutes later.
Some all-too-easy combination play between Callum McManaman and Kamsoba after a Diamanti turnover set up their side's fifth in the 50th minute and Butterfield completed the rout with a surgical top-corner strike in the 82nd minute.
"We've been knocking on the door," Victory caretaker Steve Kean said. "We've been creating plenty as of late and not grabbing them, tonight we did."