MELBOURNE Heart extended its unbeaten run at AAMI Park to eight games with a clinical 3-1 win over a surprisingly flat Sydney FC yesterday.
Both teams, fighting for finals spots, had everything to play for, but the hosts out-pressed the Sky Blues.
The Melbourne outfit got its first goal in the 32nd minute.
It came courtesy of a cross from Jeremy Walker, before Nick Kalmar chested the ball down and produced a brilliant shot.
The hosts shot out to a 2-0 lead just four minutes later through a deft touch from Eli Babalj, before Jonatan Germano swooped, and embarked on a run at goal before a composed finish.
The game was effectively over in the 53rd minute, when David Williams was brought down inside the penalty box by Seb Ryall, before converting the spot kick.
The Sky Blues found the net six minutes later through Joel Griffiths, who held off two defenders, before crashing his shot into the top right-hand corner.
A healthy crowd of 13,752 was on hand, with plenty of them giving grief to Sky Blues defender Lucas Neill, who turned down a Heart offer to join the Sydney team.
Neill was solid in his A-League debut, but could not stop Melbourne's attack.