The spoils were shared in Saturday night’s Derby clash between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City, 0-0 the the full-time score.
A healthy crowd at AAMI Park ensured an electric atmosphere accompanied the game from the opening whistle.
The game was marked by its physicality, with both sets of players bringing plenty of intensity to the contest in the first half.
Victory’s best chances of the half came through shots from Daniel Arzani and Jake Brimmer, with both attempts forcing strong saves from City goalkeeper Jamie Young.
The game had no shortage of flashpoints either, with referee Alireza Faghani having his work cut out to keep the peace.
Neither side could find the opening goal in the first half, with everything still to play for in the second 45.
Victory came as close as anyone early in the second half, when Ryan Teague struck sweetly to draw another fine save from the City shot-stopper.
The game opened up somewhat in the second period, with both defences becoming more stretched and leaving space in behind.
Tony Popovic made full use of his bench as the game progressed, bringing on five new players throughout the second half in an attempt to breach the City defence.
Despite the improvements in the contest, both defences remained on top as the game neared its conclusion.
Jamie Maclaren appeared to have found the winner for City in the dying stages when his shot found its way into the back of the net, but the goal was disallowed due to an earlier foul.
Paul Izzo made a spectacular save soon after to again deny City, with the game having seemingly sparked into life in the final stages.
Ultimately though, neither side were able to find the winning goal, 0-0 the final score.
The result is enough to extend Victory’s unbeaten start to the season to nine games, with another huge clash against Adelaide United next week to close out 2023.
Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United
Date: Saturday 30 December
Time: 7:45pm (AEDT)
Location: AAMI Park, Melbourne