Melbourne City are breathing down their necks but Western Sydney's Scott Jamieson still sees luckless champions Melbourne Victory as the Wanderers' biggest A-League threat.
City remain in third spot (20 points) and three points shy of the table-topping Wanderers (23 points), having announced themselves as title contenders via four successive wins including Saturday's thrilling 2-1 triumph over the Victory.
It leaves fellow pacesetters Brisbane still sandwiched in second (21 points) following Sunday's hard-fought 1-0 defeat of cellar-dwelling Central Coast (5 points).
The signs John Van `t Schip's cashed-up outfit might overturn the Victory's recent derby dominance had been building following a swashbuckling 14 goals in the three rounds prior.
At AAMI Park they sentenced Kevin Muscat's men to a fourth-straight defeat - the side's worst run in their 11-season A-League history.
But while Jamieson observed that City are "flying", the defender wasn't reading too much into Victory's slide to fifth (16 points).
"Victory are the best team in the comp for me at the moment, regardless of the four results," Jamieson told AAP.
"Form is temporary and class is permanent, and they're a very good team.
"I'd like to think ourselves are equally as good, but I won't pump our tyres up - I'll pump the Victory's tyres up.
"They've had obviously a bad four results, but their team is quality and they'll bounce out of this very soon I think."
It was a sentiment shared by a relatively upbeat Muscat, who pointed out that goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen was City's best player.
Indeed, the Victory could well have come away with a string second-half goals but for the indestructible Sorensen, whose 11 saves included five from the always-threatening Besart Berisha.
"Once again, we come away wondering how we didn't get something out of the game," Muscat said.
"The second half was as one sided a game as I've seen in the derby probably ever."
In-form Western Sydney remain unbeaten in eight rounds, however their seven-match winning streak was snapped by a resurgent Perth on Saturday.
At their home venue nib Stadium, the Glory managed just over 35 per cent of possession, yet took the lead twice and held the visitors to an exciting 2-2 draw.
"They were everything I expected," said Jamieson, who made the move from Perth to the Wanderers this season.
"They sit back and try and absorb pressure and really defend, and get 10 players in their own half.
"It's what I was used to when I played for them and it's what I was seeing watching them.
"It's worked for them this week."
Former leaders Sydney FC (17 points) have also been cut slightly adrift in fourth after a 1-1 away draw with Wellington (15 points), while Newcastle (13 points) can thank goalkeeper Mark Birighitti for their goalless home draw with Adelaide (10 points).