It's 34, 33 and 32 points at the top of the table after Melbourne Victory's narrow 2-1 win over Sydney FC, the Big V sitting one point behind Perth Glory, and one point above their Big Blue rivals.

The match lived up to its importance, both in terms of the rivalry and the Premiership race. In front of an atmospheric AAMI Park crowd, Ola Toivonen scored one of the A-League's greatest free kicks.

"It was good night for us," Toivonen said. We weren't perfect but they're a good side and we managed to find a solution. 

"I was hitting some free kicks in the warm up and they were terrible. I tried to go for the same feeling and it was amazing. 

"We play physical, but it stays between the lines. When we go off to the locker rooms, we're shaking hands. We've had a lot of injuries, but we're getting bodies back and we're improving."

Melbourne then doubled their lead through James Troisi, before Sydney FC worked their way back into the game. After a series of near-misses, Milos Ninkovic scored his first goal against Melbourne on the 13th time of asking, but a much-improved second half performance wasn't quite enough.

"We started too slowly and Melbourne conrolled the match, controlled the ball, but to be honest they scored from nothing," Ninkovic said.

"We missed some chances that we should score, we should have had another goal.

"Don't forget I'm 34-years-old and I played three days ago. It was hard for everyone, not just me, but in the second half everyone played better and we deserved to get something.

"We had a lot of injured players and unfortunately Alex Brosque couldn't play."

Carl Valeri offered an in-depth tactical analysis after his side's victory, but it all came down to one simple thing.

"We started off very well - Sydney are a fantastic team, full of great players and well organised. I thought we gave away too many chances but we held on and that shows our mentality - we win games.

"Sydney are going to shoot, they're going to score goals. We're going to focus on the positives and try to make them last for 70, 80, 90 minutes.

"They took more risks and made us react, that's what football's all about."