Sydney FC surged to a five-point lead atop the table via Adam Le Fondre's first A-League hat-trick in their 5-1 rout of Brisbane.
Le Fondre scored twice before halftime, while Milos Ninkovic also scored in a three-goal opening period to effectively kill Saturday night's game by halftime.
But a dour second half at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium was saved by late goals to forgotten striker Trent Buhagiar, who set up Le Fondre's third moments later.
Le Fondre has 10 goals from the opening nine rounds, surpassing Melbourne City star Jamie Maclaren as the league's leading scorer.
Roar forward Roy O'Donovan converted a consolation penalty in injury time.
City's shock loss to last-placed Perth on Friday means the Sky Blues have kicked out to the biggest ladder lead of any team so far this season.
The 21 points from a possible 24 also equals the record set by Melbourne Victory in their 2006-07 campaign.
It was arguably the best effort of the season from Steve Corica's men, whose classy passing was simply too much for the Roar defence.
"First half set the standard. They played some very good football, created good chances and took their chances at the right time," Corica said. "It was a joy to watch."
Presented with a chance to move into the top six, Robbie Fowler's side remain on the outside looking in on eight points.
Sydney FC were dominant from the kickoff, with Ninkovic releasing Kosta Barbarouses with a pinpoint ball cut back for Le Fondre's seventh-minute finish.
Le Fondre netted again five minutes later when Alex Baumjohann pierced the Roar, only for an offside found in the build-up.
The Sky Blues didn't have to wait much longer for their second, producing a similar passing movement that ended in Ninkovic slotting home in the 25th.
The first half threatened to peter out for the 10,771 Kogarah crowd before Le Fondre produced the goal of the evening to complete his brace.
This one came courtesy of a precision Rhyan Grant long ball for Barbarouses, who again darted swiftly into the right corner.
And again, Barbarouses found Le Fondre at the top of the box with his first touch, which was matched by a curling top-corner effort past a flat-footed Jamie Young.
Not even a double interchange at the break could spark the Roar into action, forcing Fowler to burn his third by the hour mark.
The only flashpoint in the second half was set to be a yellow card to Ninkovic for time-wasting during his substitution, drawing the ire of the crowd.
However, Buhagiar scored his first goal since coming back from a knee reconstruction in the 86th minute before crossing for Le Fondre soon after.
Fowler conceded his team were simply outplayed in the first half.
"I wouldn't sit here and throw my players under the bus, because I think they've given us everything this year," he said. "But that 45 minutes shouldn't be acceptable for any manager."