After holding a 3-0 half-time lead, Melbourne City had to weather a comeback bid from Perth Glory in an A-League thriller on Sunday.
Melbourne City held off a second-half fightback from Perth Glory as Wellington Phoenix heaped further misery on Central Coast Mariners in Sunday's A-League action.
Rostyn Griffiths, Florin Berenguer and Markel Susaeta all scored in a scintillating 10-minute spell in the first half for Melbourne, putting them 3-0 up at HBF Park.
However, Perth – who lost in the Grand Final to Sydney FC last season – rallied after the break.
Joel Chianese tucked home a rebound to make it 3-1 and the deficit was down to one after 65 minutes when he squared the ball across for Bruno Fornaroli to tap home.
Diego Castro hit the post as the hosts pushed hard for an equaliser, yet Melbourne survived to win 3-2 and remain the closest challengers to Sydney, though they are 10 points behind the runaway leaders.
Wellington Phoenix had briefly moved above Melbourne City into second place in the table courtesy of a 3-1 triumph at bottom club Central Coast Mariners.
Liberato Cacace marked his 50th game in the competition with the opening goal and Gary Hooper clinically converted a one-on-one opportunity to double Wellington's lead.
Jaushua Sotirio added a third when his run in behind was picked out by fellow substitute Alex Rufer's pass over the top.
The Mariners had 16 attempts at goal but only managed to hit the target three times. They did grab a late consolation, Jair scoring in the 89th minute, but have now lost eight on the spin.