Kosta Barbarouses claimed a point for 10-man Melbourne Victory in their derby with Melbourne City, securing a 1-1 draw that does little for either side's A-League ambitions.
Victory were on the rack before their Kiwi flyer struck a from a tight angle in the 50th minute, neutralising Jamie Maclaren's early penalty.
The 29th Melbourne derby was a contest defined by animosity. Referee Peter Green issued nine yellow cards including two to Georg Niedermeier inside a match-changing three minutes that saw him dismissed on the quarter-hour mark. The centre-back scythed down Maclaren near the centre circle for a needless caution and saw red shortly after, misjudging the ball in flight to stumble into the Socceroo striker for a penalty.
A seething Kevin Muscat couldn't bring himself to look at the German as he took the long walk from the box to the change rooms, and City took control.
Kearyn Baccus missed narrowly from the top of the box and Rostyn Griffiths fired a long-range thunderbolt onto the base of the post in first-half injury time as Victory counted their blessings to be just one down at the break.
The red card saw Muscat throw underdone centre-back James Donachie into early action at Elvis Kamsoba's expense, and Victory's makeshift back four looked jittery.
Needing a game changer, James Troisi was sacrificed for Ola Toivonen at half-time but it was Victory's other striker that cut through. Barbarouses raced onto Keisuke Honda's superb through-ball and struck with such venom at Eugene Galekovic's front post that the veteran gloveman palmed it into his net. The Victory bench erupted with glee and the champions had the ascendancy for the first time of the evening.
Victory found a new resolve, with Luke Brattan having best effort for the balance of the match, striking the crossbar from long range.
"The huge positive was the amount of courage an heart we played with," Muscat said. "When you have a group of men that play with such desire, such discipline, anything's possible."
One statistic showed the toothlessness that has come to define Warren Joyce's tenure; in 75 minutes, Thomas wasn't made to make a single save by City despite their numerical advantage.
A late corner required a goal-line clearance from Terry Antonis, leaving City devastated not to take their chances to win.
The result leaves City bosses with a tricky decision to make on their under-fire manager, who has just one win in eight games in a lacklustre spell.
"That's a decision for other people," Joyce said. "Unfortunately we had a moment of madness (for Barbarouses' goal) ... if you look at the stats we've had 15 shots and they've had one."
City can at least claim bragging rights over their rivals, with a win and two draws in their derby outings this season.
The biggest winner on the night was Perth Glory, given Victory's stumble allows them to strengthen their grip on the premiership.