This point of explaining this tactical nuance is to demonstrate how Sydney was challenged against a well-organised team, which is not a weekly occurrence in the domestic competition. The teams that have done well against Sydney (Central Coast Mariners, Newcastle Jets) have developed a clear strategy based on detailed opposition analysis.

Top-level football is increasingly about finding tactical solutions to the problems posed by the opposition’s strategy. While this culture is prevalent in the A-League, it’s not to the level of sophistication that Suwon demonstrated at Allianz Stadium.

It was obvious that Sydney was suddenly out of their comfort zone, having to find different solutions beyond those which have proven trustworthy over the past two seasons. Ultimately, that could become a positive.

Arnold’s team will have to adapt quickly, and a great test of the claims of being the best A-League team ever. Meanwhile, other Aussie clubs may challenge themselves to raise the bar, so that local football as a whole can reach a point where we consistently compete in Asia, not sporadically.