In the early hours of the British morning, Perth witnessed jubilant scenes as Australia achieved an unassailable 3-0 lead in this Ashes series at the earliest possible opportunity.

It was a case of same story, different venue as largely indifferent English batting was overshadowed by the hosts' dominance at the crease and in the field.

Tasked with scoring 504 in five sessions to save the series, it took Australia until the fifth day's afternoon to take the wickets required, despite stern resistance from Ben Stokes, who scored a maiden century in only his second test.

Once Stokes eventually departed for a stoic 120, Mitchell Johnson was once again the architect of the tourists' downfall, cutting through the English tail with typical pace and hostility. Once Anderson popped a catch to George Bailey, celebrations began in earnest.

For England, defeat has left many questions still to be answered in the final two matches of the series. The role and poor performance of senior players has become a common, contentious issue, but for Alastair Cook, the facts are simple.

"We haven't been good enough," he said.

"We've been outskilled in all aspects. It's hard to say that as a player but that's the truth.

"It hurts. We've got to work as hard as we can to turn things around."

"We've been outskilled in all aspects," - England Captain Alastair Cook

"Any side coming to Australia, you have to be at the top of your game to compete. But we have been found out, we haven't been good enough.

"They've been ruthless - ruthless in never letting us back in any game when they got ahead of us."

While the English attacked has struggled at times to take wickets economically, their batting has left far more to be desired. Stokes' century was the first scored by an Englishman in this series, while all of the Australian top order have impressed.

"We haven't managed to score enough runs and whenever they needed a partnership they got it," said Cook.

"There is always a balance between risk and reward and our shot selection has let us down.

"But there's a lot of talent in the dressing room. Everyone's hurting now, it's an incredibly tough place to be. That happens in sport - there's a winner and a loser and at the moment we're in the losing dressing room and it hurts."

The series will resume in Melbourne on Boxing Day with England looking to save face, but the urn will remain down under until the next contest on English soil, in the summer of 2015.