A youthful Macarthur came undone against the runaway A-League leaders Melbourne City, suffering a 6-1 defeat away from home on Saturday.
It was a harsh lesson for the young Bulls against a rampant Melbourne City whose Dutch midfielder Richard Van der Venne scored a hat-trick.
“I just think we got outclassed today,” Bulls coach Mile Sterjovski said. “We live and we learn.”
Jamie Maclaren opened the scoring for the hosts with a clinical finish from a swift counter-attack.
The Socceroo striker was denied a second shortly after when gifted a perfect chance to double his tally from the spot. Macarthur FC goalkeeper Nick Suman read the play perfect, diving low to his right to make a superb penalty save.
Van der Venne eventually got City’s second after the half hour with a composed finish before making it 3-0 before half-time.
Melbourne substitute Andrew Nabbout scored from a corner before Macarthur struck back via Moudi Najjar. In just his second appearance of the season, the Bulls forward provided a glimmer of hope with a superb drive from long range, rattling the bottom corner of the net with a powerful left-foot strike.
However, a calmly struck volley from Van der Venne sealed his hat-trick before Maclaren nabbed his second with a poacher’s effort in the dying minutes.
Macarthur FC faces Wellington Phoenix at home on Sunday February 12 at Campbelltown Sports Stadium.