Shamrock Rovers moved eight points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division table with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Cork City at Turner's Cross.
Aaron Greene's first-half double laid the way for the Hoops to comfortably see off the home side to stretch their lead over second placed Bohemians.
With AC Milan to come in the Europa League this Thursday – a game which be shown live on RTÉ – there was no sign of complacency from the Hoops, who dominated the first half and were good value for the 2-0 half-time lead, Greene with the goals in the 17th and 43rd minutes.
Aaron Greene opened the scoring for @ShamrockRovers with the first of two fine headers in the opening period against @CorkCityFC #rtesoccer— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) September 12, 2020
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While the second half lacked action in comparison, there was never any doubting Rovers’ superiority and substitute Neil Farrugia added a third goal late on.
Stephen Bradley’s side were better from the very start. They might have gone ahead in the third minute but Graham Burke was unable to control the ball when Ronan Finn picked him out in the area.
Nevertheless, they had the better of possession and the goal, when it came, was not a surprise, with Greene unmarked as he headed home Jack Byrne’s cross from the left at the near post.
After that, Rovers were able to control the game, moving the ball well. Greene went close to a second before setting up Danny Lafferty for a low shot which needed a good Mark McNulty save shortly after the half-hour mark.
Given their domination of possession, Rovers always had the potential to create something and five minutes before the break, Aaron McEneff almost found Byrne in the area but the pass was just ahead of him.
City had their first shot on target in the 42nd minute after a free kick came back off the wall, but Dylan McGlade’s effort did not trouble Alan Mannus.
Rovers counter-attacked from that and capitalised on poor City defending as Lafferty crossed for Greene to grab his second goal.
The two-goal margin meant the second half was played at a lower tempo, with City unable to put pressure on Rovers even after switching from a 4-3-3 to a 3-5-3.
Rovers missed further opportunities, with a low Lafferty cross somehow eluding everyone, while Burke twice hit the post.
Just before the end, the third goal did come, with Neil Farrugia making his mark as he came in from the left and cut on to his right foot before sending a shot across McNulty.
CORK CITY: McNulty; Ochieng, O'Brien, O’Connor, Slevin; Coleman, Morrissey, Byrne (Hurley ht); McGlade (Fenwick ht), Simpson (Dinanga 71), Dalling.
SHAMROCK ROVERS: Mannus; Grace, Lopes, Scales (O’Brien 59); Finn, O’Neill (Watts 65), McEneff, Lafferty (Farrugia 77); Burke, Byrne; Greene (Marshall 77).Referee: R Matthews (Westmeath).