Melbourne Victory have been held to a 0-0 draw by Melbourne Heart in front of a Melbourne derby record crowd of nearly 40,000 at Etihad Stadium.

While Victory had plenty of chances to win the game, dominating possession and creating the better chances of the second half, they were unable to find a way through and their goal-less start to the season continues.

Their defence, minus skipper Adrian Leijer, did an excellent job, with keeper Ante Covic ensuring a clean sheet with some strong keeping throughout the night.

Isaka Cernak got his first start from his new club, replacing Carlos Hernandez while Petar Franjic came in for the suspended Leijer, but it wasn't until Jean Carlos Solorzano's entrance into the game in the second half that the Melbourne attack sparked up.

Victory were fortunate not to concede a goal in the first half with Melbourne Heart having the better chances. The first fell to former Victory player Mate Dugandzic in the fourth minute, with Covic called on to smother an excellent chance

Nine minutes later, the keeper was called on again, this time to deny Alex Terra who had got clear to shoot from close range.

Victory's best two chances for the half fell to Archie Thompson, who couldn't beat Clint Bolton from a tight angle on 15 minutes, and Cernak, who got on the end of some good work from Grant Brebner and Thompson, only to fire over.

On the cusp of half-time, Covic was called on again to preserve the 0-0 scoreline when Dugandzic released Michael Marrone, whose effort was expertly snuffed out by the impressive stopper.

Solorzano's arrival gave Victory some attacking life with the Costa Rican having three good chances in the first 20 minutes of the second half.

However he sent a cross from Marco Rojas over the top, before getting one-on-one with Bolton, who saved and then fumbled, while at the third time of asking, Bolton snuffed out a low cross from the Costa Rican.

Covic was given a few testing moments midway through the half, with Rody Vargas sliding in to block a cross and then the keeper meeting a fierce free kick before easily seeing off another angled effort from the busy Jason Hoffman as David Williams shot over the bar.

In the two key passages of play for the half, he then dealt with two rocketed shots from Dugandzic late in the game which threatened to undo the good defensive work of the night. He held firm and Victory now have two points from their first three games.

Melbourne Victory 0
Melbourne heart 0
Crowd: 39,309 at Etihad Stadium