While there weren’t too many goals to celebrate, fans were treated to two nail-biting top of the table affairs.

 Wellington Phoenix 1 – 0 Melbourne City

Wednesday’s loss at home to Sydney FC just a mere hiccup for the Wellington Phoenix who got themselves back on the winners list, defeating an in-form Melbourne City.

After failing to score in their last game the Phoenix wasted little time opening the scoring.

The David Williams revival continued as he volleyed a Liberato Cacace cross into the top corner to give the home side an early lead.

Cacace was causing all sorts of problems for City down the left hand side and nearly provided Williams with his second, minutes after the two combined for the opener.

From here Wellington controlled the opening half and would have been further ahead had it not been for City goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.

With their place inside the top four in danger, City sprung into action after the break.

Warren Joyce would have been scratching his head after fulltime questioning how his team failed to score after dominating the second half.

Ritchie De Laet hit the side-netting early in the second half before a string of saves from Fillip Kurto denied Lachlan Wales and Riley McGree of an equaliser.

Kurto’s best save coming in the 82nd minute when he denied 18-year-old Moudi Najjar of his debut goal, coming off his line and launching himself into the air to block Najjar’s attempted lob.

City still had one more chance in them and it came deep into stoppage time but were denied once again by the Phoenix goalkeeper who saved a Riley Mcgree from just inside the box.

It may have been a game of two halves but in the end it was the Phoenix who claimed the three points and edge closer towards the top four.

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Melbourne Victory 2 – 1 Sydney FC

The annual Australia Day Big Blue was as exciting on the field as it was off it.

A large contingent of Sydney FC travelling supporters added to what was fiery contest in the stands and on the field as the league’s two most successful clubs went head-to-head.

Ola Toivonen added to the history of this fixture with a sublime set piece in the 20th minute to give the Victory the lead.

The Swedish international gave Sydney goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne no hope as he struck his free kick over the wall and off the post.

Melbourne Victory came into the second half as they did the first and soon doubled their lead.

James Troisi finishing off a vintage Victory goal after Toivonen combined with Raul Baena to assist Troisi and give Sydney FC a mountain to climb away from home.

But Sydney FC were quick to respond with a clever goal from Milos Ninkovic to get the Sky Blues back into the contest and set up an exciting final half hour.

Momentum would then swing Sydney’s way as the Sky Blues continued to harass and force the Victory into an uncomfortable position.

Despite having a lot of the play in the second half, it was luck what eluded the Sky Blues who hit the woodwork twice late in the second.

Live-wire and fan-favourite Elvis Kamsoba gave the Victory the spark they needed after replacing Raul Baena, providing enough to see the Victory hold on in a famous Big Blue win.

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Athos Sirianos
athos@footballnationradio.com.au