ADELAIDE, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Melbourne extended their lead at the top of the A-League standings to 13 points this weekend with a 3-1 victory in Adelaide while nearest rivals Sydney were held to a scoreless draw.
Melbourne play Sydney at home next week knowing victory will give them an unassailable lead in the league with another five rounds to play.
Although the championship will be decided by a finals series between the top four teams, the table-toppers after the regular season earn an automatic place in the 2008 Asian Champions League.
Melbourne sealed their 12th win of the season with a comfortable win over third-placed Adelaide with Kevin Muscat, Danny Allsopp and Brazilian import Fred all scoring to boost their points tally to 37.
Sydney, who won the inaugural championship last season, remained in second place but lost more ground on the leaders after they were held to a 0-0 draw at Central Coast (20), who remained fourth, two points behind Adelaide.
Newcastle remain fifth on goal difference after they were held to a 1-1 draw at bottom-placed Auckland with Queensland a point behind them after beating Perth 1-0.