BILLED AS… The Premiership decider, according to Archie Thompson.

IN REALITY… It's only round four, for Christ's sake! This was still a battle royale between the reigning champions and the pretenders to their crown with both sides looking for goals.

THE GOOD… Michael Theoklitos in goals for Victory saved his side's skin, time after time as the Mariners looked to keep their perfect winning record. His reflexes are razor sharp and he doesn't lack any bravery in going down for the ball.

THE BAD… Twenty-six shots on goal with nine attempts on target - and we didn't get a single goal? This was an entertaining match but Victory fans must be frustrated by this season's lack of goals at home.

THE UGLY… It happened so early in the game it was almost forgotten, but Sasho Petrovski was unfairly flagged for offside when he was though on goal. He scored but the whistle had already gone - when will linesmen remember they are supposed to give strikers the benefit of the doubt? WE NEED MORE GOALS IN THE A-LEAGUE.

THEY SAID WHAT… "The effort from the players tonight was outstanding...We dominated large parts of the play and after losing Sasho early and having lost Nik before the game, we had a lack of strikers but we still created more clear cut chances than Melbourne. It was an absolutely outstanding performance." Lawrie 'Oustanding' McKinna was quite pleased with the Mariners' result.

THE FALLOUT… 4,000 fewer fans turned out for this match, a worrying warning to Victory that everyone loves a winner, everyone wants to see goals - and Victory haven't supplied either in Melbourne yet.

VICTORY: Michael Theoklitos (gk), Kevin Muscat (c), Daniel Piorkowski, Matthew Kemp, Grant Brebner, Daniel Allsopp (Sebastian Ryall 89’), Archie Thompson, Rodrigo Vargas, Adrian Caceres (Steve Pantelidis 33’), Carlos Hernandez (Leandro Love 62’), Leigh Broxham.

BOOKINGS Daniel Piorkowski 59’

MARINERS: Danny Vukovic (gk), Andre Gumprecht, John Hutchinson, Dean Heffernan, Damien Brown, Tony Vidmar, Nigel Boogaard, Matthew Osman, Adam Kwasnik (Andrew Clark 89’), Sasho Petrovski (Tom Pondeljak 25’), Mile Jedinak.

BOOKINGS Damien Brown 52’, Adam Kwasnik 64’, Andre Gumprecht 90’

RED CARD Tony Vidmar 90+3’

MATCH RATING 4/5