On an afternoon that thrilled, frustrated and bewildered City fans watching back home, Rado Vidosic's side simply couldn't find the winning goal against a stubborn Western Sydney Wanderers out who forced the points to be shared in a 1-1 draw.
City battered the Wanderers from pillar to post for almost 90 minutes straight, but it was in one of very few moments that we relented that the home side struck, feeding Brandon Borrello through on goal to finish at the culmination of a lightning transition move.
Our boys struck one back through a Richard van der Venne curling effort, but the vital second just wouldn't happen for us, and the team was forced to settle for a solitary point.
Here's what we learned from the fascinating, if frustrating, encounter:
A performance to be proud of, regardless of result
It wasn't the result that we had hoped for, but fans can really only applaud yesterday's performance from the boys.
The teams played out a highly entertaining encounter and there were very few faults in our overall display, barring a couple of big chances conceded (one scored) in the first half and our inability to create enough space for composed shots inside the box. Other than Marco Tilio's missed header, it didn't even feel like we really had many wasted big chances to complain about.
On the whole, it was the type of performance that deserved maximum points, and that bodes well for our future if we can keep it up; given that we enjoy a four-point buffer with a game in-hand, it feels like we can afford to take this type of perspective on the result.
Need to keep Tilio and Bos through January
Tilio and Jordan Bos were two of our best players yesterday, and the type of explosive young talent that will help us to secure the Premiership if we can hold on to the pair of them throughout a January window where suitors will undoubtedly be lining up.
Tilio had Adama Traore on skates in the first half, creating a host of shooting opportunities for his teammates, while Bos left us all in awe with some of his solo runs which opened up space against a defence that otherwise refused to do so. It was with their youthful fearlessness and unparalleled technical qualities (rare commodities that we're fortunate to have in our squad) that they were able to inspire some attacking opportunities against a miserly Wanderers backline.
Though both players have more than qualified back-ups in Andrew Nabbout and Scott Jamieson, you feel that the aforementioned unique qualities that they bring to the table (and the quality bench depth they allow us to have when starting) is vital to our Premiership chances.
The evidence is mounting for a midfield change
Valon Berisha put in an admirable performance yesterday, but was again replaced by Florin Berenguer around 70 minutes after being overshadowed by midfield partner Richard van der Venne.
Though Berisha was involved in a dominant first half where he had a hand in creating a number of chances for teammates, those opportunities seemed to dry up early in the second period following a post-half-time Wanderers resurrection. Once Berenguer entered the fray, our attacking threat seemed to pick up again, culminating in a barrage against Lawrence Thomas's goal in the final quarter of the match.
As stated in the match preview, Berisha has been far from poor this season, and his dropping from the starting XI isn't an urgent matter. However, when you're fending off competition from the club's reigning Player of the Season, and when the most comparable player in the squad to Berisha (VDV) has a goal and three assists in his last five games, the case continues to mount against our Kosovan midfielder.
Sure, you don’t change a winning formula, but what about a drawing one?