A-League Wrap: Heart crush Victory in derby
John van't Schip's side appeared doomed to finish bottom of the division after drawn five and lost nine of their opening 14 games of the season, but have spectacularly reversed their fortunes recently by taking 19 points from their last seven outings.
This weekend's demolition of their local rivals at AAMI Park marks their fifth-straight top-flight win and moves them up to eighth in the table.
Orlando Engelaar - who struck the winner in last Sunday's 1-0 victory over league leaders Brisbane Roar - and Mate Dugandzic got Heart off to a flying start on Saturday by putting them 2-0 up inside 15 minutes.
Victory defender Nick Ansell was given his marching orders shortly before the break after being adjudged to have denied David Williams a clear goalscoring opportunity.
However, it took Heart until the last 10 minutes of the game to make their numerical advantage pay, as first in-form striker Williams bagged his sixth goal in his last five appearances, before captain Harry Kewell rounded matters off four minutes from time.
In Saturday's other A-League fixture, Central Coast Mariners ended a four-game losing streak in the league by beating Sydney FC 2-1 in Gosford.
Seung-Yong Kim broke the deadlock for the hosts after 26 minutes, before former Hull City midfielder Richard Garcia equalised just after the hour mark.
Central Coast striker Mitchell Duke had the final say, though, netting the winner 15 minutes from time to lift his side above Victory into fourth place.