A Matthew Jurman own-goal handed Melbourne Victory a hard fought 1-0 win over Sydney FC in front of 30,000 fans at Etihad Stadium for the annual Australia Day clash.

Victory leapfrogged Sydney FC in the table as Jurman's 79th-minute own goal handed the home side another win in Melbourne which stretches out to 7 games.

Jurman produced an impressive display within a dogged defensive display from Sydney but lunged at the near-post to cut out a low-cross from substitute Jesse Makarounas and turned the ball into his own net.

Victory forward Besart Berisha failed to beat Sydney goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic with an early one-on-one but they were largely frustrated against last-season's grand-final foes before the late breakthrough.

Sydney could have gone top of the table on goal difference with a two-goal win, however, they rarely appeared interested in chasing and remain three points behind neighbours and leaders Western Sydney Wanderers on 27 points.

Melbourne Victory are now fourth by virtue of scoring more goals this season than their archrivals.

Victory must now prepare for a trip to Perth on Saturday night, a place where they haven't won in their last three visits, while Sydney host the Brisbane Roar on Saturday.