Melbourne win by 25 points
The Demons kept slim hopes of a finals appearances alive with a win over the Bombers who were coming off a brutal, violence marred clash with Carlton the previous week.
Despite the week after their brawl with Carlton turning into a media circus the Bombers didn't appear to be suffering many ill-effects on the field, taking a narrow lead into quarter time in cold windy conditions.
It took until the third quarter for the Demons to get on top, but when they did they put the game away by kicking 8.5 to 4.4. The visitors had been lucky to be within eight points at the long break and Melbourne finally kicked away in the third. Resting ruckman Stephen Smith benefited from Gary Hardeman dragging his opponent away from full-forward to kick six goals - and five of them came in the third term.
Essendon cut the margin to 23 points early in the last quarter after three quick goals but they couldn't get any closer.
Best were Giampaolo, Hardeman and Wells. Brewer (hamstring) was replaced by Fitzsimmons in the first quarter. Ough was an unused reserve and never picked again.
Melbourne 20.17 d. Essendon 8.9
Goals - Coles 4, Tilbrook 3, Smith 3, Walley 3, Sparks 2, Woods 2, Baker 1, Woodman 1, Withers 1
Best - Osborne, Coles, Chamberlain
Melbourne 12.15 d. Essendon 11.7
Goals - Smith 3, Unknown 9