Dundalk put on a five-star display to demolish Derry
Derry City 0 - Dundalk 5
Derry City were humbled at home by champions Dundalk who produced a scintillating display at the Brandywell last night.
Stephen Kenny's team are now six points clear at the top after this win, thanks to a hat-trick from David Millan and a goal apiece for Daryl Horgan and Dane Massey.
Derry's cause was not helped by the dismissal of captain Ryan McBride just 30 minutes into the game, receiving a straight red card after fouling Dundalk captain Stephen O'Donnell. At that stage, Derry were already trailing by two goals and the game was all but over as a contest.
Dundalk got off to the perfect start just two minutes in when Daryl Horgan's corner found Brian Gartland who headed down to David McMillan who touched the ball past Gerard Doherty from close range.
Dundalk doubled their lead on 21 minutes and it proved to be another set-piece disaster for Derry City as Patrick McEleney's free kick towards the front post was met by Massey who simply flicked the ball across the face of goal, beyond Doherty.
McBride's red card only made things worse and before half time Dundalk were 3-0 up, Sean Gannon playing McMillan through on goal and he simply raced through and placed the ball past Doherty.
Dundalk's fourth was another fluent passing move as they carved Derry open 10 minutes after the restart. Daryl Horgan played McMillan through for his hat-trick, and although Doherty denied him with a brilliant save, he could do nothing as Horgan reacted quickest to smash the ball into the empty net.
It was just a matter of damage limitation for Derry and Doherty came to his team's rescue again on 75 minutes, again to deny McMillan a hat-trick as he pushed the striker's powerful header onto the post.
But McMillan would not be denied and he finally got his hat-trick on 81 minutes, as he swept a brilliant shot past Doherty from the edge of the penalty area, before raising his hands to the sky in relief as much as celebration.
DERRY CITY: Doherty, Vemmelund, McBride, Barry, Jarvis (McClean 70mins), McCormack, McNamee, Monaghan (Boyle 45mins), Schubert (McDermott 39mins), Patterson, McEneff.
Dundalk: Rogers, Gannon, Gartland (Barrett 79mins), Boyle, O'Donnell, Horgan (Meenan 69mins), Mountney, McMillan, Finn, P McEleney, Massey (Grimes 66 mins).
Referee: Paul McLaughlin.