Bombers end Lions' unbeaten AFL start

Fresh from an AFL goal feast against Brisbane, Essendon forwards Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti and Mitch Brown will soon have Joe Daniher for company.

Daniher's imminent return is further good news for the Bombers, whose dreadful start to the season is a bad memory after Saturday's 17.10 (112) 9.11 (65) win at the MCG.

The Bombers improved to 2-2 and dealt a nasty reality check to the Lions, who had a 3-0 start after also winning their two pre-season matches.

McDonald-Tipungwuti was best afield with his career-best haul of seven goals and Brown also starred with three goals after being recalled to the seniors.

It remains to be seen whether Daniher will resume from his calf injury in the bumper Good Friday clash against North Melbourne or through the VFL.

Apart from his fitness, Daniher and the rest of the famous football clan are in mourning after the death of his grandather Jim.

"We're confident he'll be able to play this week - whether that means he's available for AFL selection, we want to tick off a few other things first," coach John Worsfold said of the No.1 key forward.

Daniher's season last year ended at round seven because of osteitis pubis. He then played two pre-season games before his calf injury.

McDonald-Tipungwut was outstanding on Saturday, kicking his first five goals from set shots and also nailing the last two goals of the match - the seventh on the final siren.

"It was a pretty special day for 'Walla' but it only comes through a very strong improvement in the way the team's playing," Worsfold said.

The Bombers coach added the players were largely responsible for the turnaround after the abysmal round-one surrender to GWS and round-two loss to St Kilda.

"I believe totally in that," he said. "It's more along culture versus strategy.

"I even read a quote pre-game which again just talked about how player-led teams are the really great teams in any sport or competition."

Essendon bounced the Lions early, racing to a 50-point lead early in the third term as they repeatedly transitioned quickly out of defence.

Midfielder Zach Merrett and key defenders Cale Hooker and Michael Hurley also were prominent.

Lions onballer Lachie Neale continued his strong form with a game-high 40 disposals but Worsfold never felt he demanded a heavy tag.

The only negatives for Essendon were a kick to the head for David Myers and a sprig to the knee for David Zaharakis.

The Lions closed to 28 points early in the last quarter, where they had 20-10 inside 50s, but their forwards were largely anonymous and Essendon were able to steady.