If Sydney FC are going to go back to back like they're fully capable of, they need their stars to rise to the challenge. Instead, they went missing in the club's 3-1 loss to Melbourne Victory.
There were certainly shining lights for Sydney - you look at the quality of their team, bringing the likes of Remy Siemsen on for the second half - and it's no surprise they still had standouts, even when they were backs-against-the-wall.
Aubrey Bledsoe did everything she was humanly capable of. Alanna Kennedy delivered one or two phenomenal tackles, showcasing her absolutely incredible ability to win the ball.
New Canadian import Lindsay Agnew exhibited classy play and brute physicality in one very effective package, but in the fullback position if Sydney are under the pump, her ability to impact the match is substantially limited.
There were also some weak links that Victory exploited ruthlessly.
Amy Sayer was a little disappointing drifting out to that wide right side, often looking fatigued. Teresa Polias today was a case of close but no cigar, she just couldn't quite pull those strings in that first half.
Watching the captain's reaction to subbing off 10 minutes into the second period said it all. She was not happy.
Veronica Latsko's passes were off. She dropped back to ensure she remained involved. Pity - like many others - she just couldn't make it count. Princess Ibini was strong in the air but a very similar story. Sofia Huerta was often M.I.A.
If Sydney are going to stand a chance of toppling Melbourne City then they need to make these players count when it matters. Sydney's stars showed for the final ten minutes, as they have so many times throughout this season, that on their day they're mesmerising to watch.
Ante Juric's system is devastating when it comes to full effect, as we saw in their demolition of Western Sydney Wanderers. The way they can stroke the ball around that midfield and defensive third is reminiscent of the Matildas.
But this afternoon was the first time since the departures of Chloe Logarzo and Caitlin Foord that Sydney have truly looked star-less. Dropping Remy Siemsen to the bench, in hindsight, was a mistake that they're now sorely paying for.
But it shouldn't have been the case. Sydney still boast one of the most impressive squads in recent Dub memory, with a very strong track record in W-League finals. What's more, they boast one of the most consistent title-defence teams we've seen.
Now, they have to show, once again, they can rise to the occasion. The Big Blue is too big a game to go missing and as a team, today they lost the plot.