There might have been a winter chill in Melbourne on Saturday night, but the Western Bulldogs were blisteringly hot under the roof at Marvel Stadium in their 104-point demolition of Essendon.
The Bulldogs massacred the Bombers in every facet of the contest, keeping their hope of a top eight spot alive.
Dylan Shiel had the home crowd up and about early with a goal inside thirty seconds to start the game.
However, it was the start of the end for the Bombers with the Bulldogs piling on an incredible 21 unanswered goals to open up a game-high 123 point lead which was eventually pegged back courtesy of three late Bomber goals.
Below is everything you need to know from the match!
The stars: Josh Dunkley, Lachie Hunter and Jackson Macrae.
The Bulldogs midfield monstered their Bomber counterparts tonight.
Josh Dunkley, Lachie Hunter and Jackson Macrae combined for 111 disposals, 15 marks, 12 tackles and two goals in a triple treat for their side.
The talking point: Essendon belted for second week running
After being smashed by 10-goals against Port Adelaide last week it was again the same story for Essendon.
The contested possession count was lopsided 162-126 in favor of the Bulldogs highlighting just how much hungrier they were for the ball.
One could excuse the Bombers for dropping games given the toll of their injury list, but they have not given a yelp in two crucial games leading up into September.
The difference: 21 goals in a row.
Dylan Shiel kicked the first goal of the game 21 seconds in.
But it’s hard to win a game of football when you let the opposition kick 21 goals in a row.
The Bulldogs were merciless all night and had only conceded one goal for the match until the final five minutes.
Dylan Shiel kicked Essendon's first goal in the first minute of the game,— AFL (@AFL) August 10, 2019
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti kicked their second with four and a half minutes left in the game. #AFLDonsDogs pic.twitter.com/9sNRo04Rxq
The win for the Western Bulldogs gives them a much needed percentage boost and keeps their hope of a finals campaign alive as they currently sit a game outside the top eight. Adelaide are yet to play but do face an in-form West Coast Eagles outfit in Perth on Sunday and a loss to the Crows would see the Bulldogs only a game outside the top eight with a percentage of 102.
The Bulldogs final two games are tricky ones as they face the Giants away next week and come back home to Marvel against Adelaide in the final round of the home-and-away season.
While Essendon’s percentage has plummeted from 104.3 to 93.8 in the space of two weeks. They currently sit in seventh place but have a resurgent Port Adelaide hot on their heels and if Adelaide were to upset the Eagles tomorrow it would drop the Bombers to eighth spot.
It does not get any easier for them either having to travel to Perth next week to face Fremantle, followed by a clash against Collingwood in the final round of the 2019 home-and-away season.
Essendon: 1.1, 1.3, 1.7, 4.9 (33)
Western Bulldogs: 6.3, 10.3, 16.6, 21.11 (137)
Essendon: Merrett, Redman, Heppell
Western Bulldogs: Dunkley, Hunter, McLean, Macrae, Dale, Smith, Bontempelli, Hayes
Essendon: Baguley 2, Shiel, McDonald-Tipungwuti
Western Bulldogs: Dickson, McLean, Dale, Schache 3, Hayes, Naughton 2, B.Smith, Dunkley, Johannisen, Lloyd, Macrae