1. Pies lose six in a row
This was meant to be the day Collingwood would break a five-game drought that perhaps wasn't as bad as it seemed, given three of those defeats had been at the hands of Fremantle (seven points), Hawthorn (10 points) and West Coast (31 points). However, for the second successive week the Pies were outplayed by a team they were expected to overcome. A sixth loss in a row – and by 31 points at that, after conceding nine of the last 12 goals, despite leading the inside 50 count 58-40 – raises questions about the club's on-field progress, which just a few weeks ago appeared to be on track. A finals berth is still mathematically possible but not realistic.

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2. Demons set pattern with early dominance
Melbourne started with flair and potency that belied their well-documented scoring problems. After netting just 30 goals in their previous four games – and just eight in their previous seven quarters – the Demons had four goals on the board after just 23 minutes. At quarter-time they should have had six but Jack Viney and Dom Tyson missed late shots they should have nailed. Instead of leading by close to five goals at the first break, the Dees led by 18 points. Their advantage was due to impressive pressure and ball use, the latter highlighted by a coast-to-coast goal that started with a kick-in and finished with an easy conversion for Jeff Garlett from the goalsquare. The Pies gained the lead briefly in the second term, before Melbourne again went on the march.

3. Prized Pie debuts after Goldsack mishap
Matt Scharenberg's long-anticipated AFL debut came about through less-than-ideal circumstances when he was a late inclusion for Tyson Goldsack, who injured a quad in the warm-up. Pies fans had waited patiently to see the 19-year-old – the No.6 pick in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft – at the highest level after his early time at the club had been ruined by foot injuries and a knee reconstruction. And the black and white faithful wasn't disappointed. Twenty minutes into the first term came an early test when the South Australian copped a strong front-on tackle but maintained his composure and dished off a good handball. Deployed across half-back, Scharenberg gathered the equal-most most disposals in the second term – nine – and finished with 16 to be one of the Pies' few positives on a dirty day.

4. Vintage Vince
Melbourne veteran Bernie Vince was given the biggest assignment: limit the impact of the Pies’ superstar skipper Scott Pendlebury and generate some drive himself. The 29-year-old excelled in both aspects of the job description, convincingly winning what turned into a head-to-head contest. Pendlebury had 24 possessions and kicked a goal but wasn't as sharp as usual, while Vince had 30 touches and slotted three goals to be best-afield. Some doubted the wisdom of landing the former Crow with a long-term deal, but there is no doubt he has been a high-quality recruit.

5. Elliott a shock substitute
Collingwood goalsneak Jamie Elliott had missed two games with a stress reaction in his back and there was some surprise when he was selected for this clash. Surprise turned to shock when the Pies named the livewire forward – their second highest goalkicker with 28 goals this year – as their substitute. With Elliott's back condition being carefully managed by the club, some felt the move reeked of desperation, given the Pies were in dire need of his enterprise in an inexperienced attack. The 22-year-old was injected into the action midway through the third term, missed a set shot from long range and then appeared to aggravate his back ailment but continued to play on and had little influence.