For all the tension, nothing gave way in Melbourne's A-League derby on Saturday night - Heart and Victory playing out a thrilling 0-0 draw at AAMI Park.
It was a result which provided little clarity for either side with their form in question - Heart still winless in their past seven matches and Victory still winless in five under new coach Jim Magilton.
But Heart will feel aggrieved not to have taken all three points.
They dominated the first half and had the two best opportunities in the second as Victory were reduced to 10 men with Grant Brebner sent off with 15 minutes left.
Heart shredded their rivals for the first 45 minutes, coming closest when midfielder Jonatan Germano hit the crossbar with a close-range header after just 13 minutes.
The Victory looked devoid of ideas, and were given a clinic by first-game left-back Craig Goodwin as the 20-year-old ran riot going forward, and looked assured in defence.
The Victory looked better in the second half - especially a 15-minute patch before Brebner's send-off for a rash challenge on Heart striker Eli Babalj.
The Scotsman's red card swung momentum back the Heart's way.
Ex-Victory player Kristian Sarkies had the best opportunity of the match soon afterwards, put in on goal by a great David Williams run and square ball, only to blast his chance over the bar.
Then Victory goalkeeper Ante Covic produced a world-class save on 80 minutes to deny Goodwin a dream debut - the youngster's long-range thunderbolt forcing Covic to dive full length to his left to stop.
Heart also went close in the dying minutes with a long-range Michael Marrone shot.
Heart remain in the top six despite their inability to post a recent win, while the Victory creep to seventh place with their point.