CARLTON has come from 24 points down at the 12-minute mark of the last term to snatch a remarkable three-point victory at Etihad Stadium on Saturday evening.
The Blues looked cooked when the Eagles kicked the first five scores of the final term – only one was a goal to substitute Dom Sheed – to open a four-goal buffer.
At the time, the Blues had kicked just one goal for the second half after leading by five points at half-time, and it looked like the Eagles would be able to cruise to the line after a tough first three quarters.
But the Blues piled on the last five goals of the game to seal a memorable 14.8 (92) to 12.17 (89) win.
Their comeback started when Jeff Garlett kicked a goal at the 14-minute mark. It included a goal by defender Zac Tuohy after a lucky 50m penalty against Eagle Mark Hutchings and nearly lifted the roof off Etihad Stadium when a Dylan Buckley snap levelled the scores at the 20-minute mark.
Blues substitute Troy Menzel kicked what proved to be the match-winning goal when he pounced on a long Marc Murphy kick inside forward 50 and snapped truly to put the Blues six points up at the 24-minute mark.
However, the Eagles still had their chances and hit the post twice in a row in the dying minutes, with Scott Selwood missing from 35m out on a relatively easy angle and Josh Kennedy unlucky to miss a diving snap barely a minute later.
And when Luke Shuey missed a tougher shot from the boundary at the 28-minute mark the Blues had only seconds to hang on to claim their second straight win.
"The way we were going, [it] could well have been a five to six-goal loss because it looked like we just couldn't get it right," Malthouse said.
"We just needed to pinch a steadier to break their momentum to see if we could throw a bit of doubt into their psyche.
"I thought it was a very gutsy win all up."
Murphy led from the front for the Blues, racking up 32 possessions and nine clearances, and kicked a spectacular goal midway through the second term, running onto a Dale Thomas handball, baulking two West Coast opponents and converting with a banana snap from the top of the goalsquare.
The other key members of the Blues' midfield division, Bryce Gibbs (25 possessions), Brock McLean (32) and Kade Simpson (26), were also outstanding.
Full-back Michael Jamison kept Eagles spearhead Josh Kennedy relatively quiet, while Jarrad Waite (two goals) provided a strong target in attack and the recalled Garlett kicked three goals.
While Carlton have recovered from its 0-4 start season in the past two weeks, the Eagles have now lost their past three games.
Eagles coach Adam Simpson found it hard to pinpoint how his team had let such a commanding last-quarter slip, saying bad kicking, bad luck and bad play had probably all played a part.
"We fought really hard to get back into the game and then to get a lead like that and not ice the game was really disappointing," Simpson said.
"I don't know what we kicked in the last quarter, it might have been 1.7 (it was 1.8), from 16 or 17 inside 50s (it was 18), so we just didn't take our opportunities.
"We had a chance in the last few minutes as well. We might have kicked three or four points, two or three from the goalsquare, so that was disappointing."
Matt Priddis was a prolific ball-winner for the Eagles, finishing with a game-high 35 possessions.
Luke Shuey (28 possessions) was also damaging through the middle of the ground and kicked two first-quarter goals that helped steady the Eagles after the Blues' fast start to the game.
Dean Cox had the better of his ruck duel with Robbie Warnock, especially around the ground, Eric Mackenzie kept Blues spearhead Lachie Henderson to two goals and Chris Masten had 27 possessions.
The Blues jumped the Eagles at the start of the game, kicking the opening four goals to get out to a 24-point lead at the 12-minute mark of the first team.
But the Eagles soon hit back, kicking four consecutive goals in seven minutes to take a one-point lead at the 22-minute mark of the term, an advantage they maintained into quarter-time.
The second term played out to the same script, with the Blues kicking four of the first five goals to get out to an 19-point lead at the 18-minute mark, before West Coast kicked the last two goals of the term to go into half-time just five points down.
Kane Lucas and Dylan Buckley celebrate after Carlton's shock three-point win. Picture: AFL Media
CARLTON 4.2 8.5 9.7 14.8 (92)
WEST COAST 4.3 7.6 11.9 12.17 (89)
Carlton: Garlett 3, Waite 2, Henderson 2, Robinson, Warnock, Murphy, McLean, Tuohy, Buckley, Menzel
West Coast: Shuey 2, Kennedy 2, Cripps 2, Lycett, Hutchings, McGovern, Bennell, Yeo, Sheed
Carlton: Thomas, McLean, Gibbs, Simpson, Jamison, Murphy, Garlett
West Coast: Priddis, Shuey, Gaff, Mackenzie, Masten, Cox
Carlton: Andrew Carrazzo (back spasm) replaced in the selected side by Dylan Buckley, Chris Yarran (hamstring)
Carlton: Troy Menzel replaced Chris Yarran during the third quarter
West Coast: Dom Sheed replaced Jeremy McGovern at three-quarter time.
Umpires: Stephens, Foot, Pannell
Official crowd: 31,005 at Etihad Stadium