Melbourne City sent a message of intent to their Hyundai A-League Championship rivals with a commanding display in a 2-0 win against newly-crowned Premiers Sydney FC.

Craig Noone opened the scoring on 57 minutes and Jamie Maclaren fired himself to the top of the Golden Boot charts with his 19th goal of the campaign on 68 minutes as a free-flowing City attack dismantled a lacklustre Sky Blues outfit.

Sydney FC had secured the Premiers Plate after Wellington Phoenix dropped points on Monday night but Steve Corica’s team struggled to find any rhythm against a City side that were returning to the pitch for the first time since the restart, some 131 days since their previous match.

Sydney’s goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne kept the Harbour City outfit in touching distance, making six first-half saves as City attackers Maclaren, Adrian Luna, Lachie Wales and Florin Berenguer teased and tormented Sydney’s defence, but neither of the competition’s two highest scoring clubs could force a first-half breakthrough.

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