Melbourne Victory may have been prevented from ending 2018 on top of the table at the hands of their neighbours but Kevin Muscat insists it is the positives which must be emphasised.

Most people would have seen the result as the typical for two points lost rather than one gained for Melbourne Victory.

But Kevin Muscat is not most people.

The Victory legend turned manager has always been one to emphasise the performance rather than result, something he did after Victory’s winless opening two games and is what he has done after failing to win the Christmas derby.

“It can feel like you’ve lost when you concede late but I thought there was a lot to like about our performance,” Muscat said.

“In the first half we were playing some good stuff without hurting them too much.

“In the second half we asked more questions of them and scored a tremendous goal.

“There wouldn’t be too many teams who could have stopped that goal.

“But we conceded a goal in the 92nd minute and that’s life.

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“Overall though it was a great atmosphere tonight and we really enjoyed it.”

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There was plenty to like about the Victory who were their vintage selves on Saturday albeit without Keisuke Honda who, according to Muscat, was sidelined due to suffering fatigue in his lower back.

Honda’s absence may have foreshadowed the inevitable and Dario Vidosic may have made it happen with a late goal but Muscat was not going to let it take away from what he believes was another quality performance.

This has been Muscat’s mantle since taking over.

“I’m not going to let that moment overshadow the performance because it wouldn’t be fair on the players,” Muscat said.

“It’s easier to identify negativity and problems and there is still some learning for us.

“For me the most important thing is playing an enjoyable style of football in addition to an entertaining one.”

Likewise, Ola Toivonen who scored the opener was not going to let the result dampen what he believed was a good performance.

The Swedish international scored Melbourne Victory’s 600th A-League goal and his fifth of the season, in front of the Victory fans which would have made it feel all the more special.

“It was a good cross from Kosta [Barbarouses] so it wasn’t difficult in the end,” Toivonen said.

“We played well for 92 minutes and there was just one minute where we switched off.

“But that’s football, now it’s time to start another unbeaten run.

“Playing in the derby was a great experience, one I look forward to looking back on when I retire.”

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RMIT Journalism | Football Nation Radio Like all football fans my general mood for the week is dictated by how my team performs over the weekend.