The Bombers were the walking wounded, but still had too much for the Saints. (AAP: Julian Smith)
Essendon has downed lowly St Kilda by 43 points despite a rash of injuries in their AFL clash at Docklands Stadium.
The Bombers had no interchange bench for the last quarter of Friday night’s 18.14 (122) to 11.13 (79) win, emulating the plight of GWS five days ago at the same venue.
Brendon Goddard suffered a knee injury in the first few minutes and then Saints defender Nathan Brown knocked out Adam Saad with a brutal bump late in the first quarter.
Saad was stretchered off and Brown could be in line for a season-ending suspension.
Cale Hooker (knee) and Orazio Fantasia (hamstring) were also hurt in the third term.
Kyle Langford was in agony when he left the field in the second term with a shoulder injury, but the Essendon onballer was able to play out the match.
The Bombers led by 51 points early in the last term, giving them plenty of breathing room.
Essendon mathematically remains a finals chance, but it must beat top side Richmond and then face Port Adelaide away.
The Bombers also need other results to go their way.
The Saints led by a point late in the second term after Nathan Freeman kicked his first AFL goal.
But once again they were unable to respond when the opposition counter-attacked.
Essendon kicked the the last three goals of the half — two of them to Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti — and the opening two goals of the second half to kill off the match.
McDonald-Tipungwuti kicked five goals in a best-afield performance.
There were a few spotfires in the match, especially after Brown knocked out Saad, but the Bombers were too good.
Hooker will probably come under video review for a swinging arm on Daniel McKenzie in the third quarter.
Bombers captain Dyson Heppell returned to form after a quiet game last week and Seb Ross was best for the Saints in his 100th game.
St Kilda’s Ben Paton kicked the last goal of the match in his AFL debut.