Graham Arnold's Sydney FC set new standards with an all-conquering season during which they lost just one of their 29 matches. Victory pushed them hard in the Grand Final, but there can be no argument that the twelfth season of the Hyundai A-League was Sky Blue in hue.
Here is the story of the season.
Tim Cahill (Melbourne City)
Milos Ninkovic (Sydney FC)
Bobo (Sydney FC)
Marco Rojas (Melbourne Victory)
James Troisi (Melbourne Victory)
Nicolas Martinez (WSW)
GAME OF THE SEASON
Perth Glory 5 Melbourne City 4 – the final match of the regular season was also its craziest with the two sides sharing nine goals, capped by Glory 'keeper Liam Reddy's inexplicable upfield dribble which gifted City striker Nick Fitzgerald the game's final goal.
It took Tim Cahill less than half an hour to announce himself in the Hyundai A-League with his audacious long-range rocket setting City on the way to an emphatic 4-1 win in the season's first Melbourne derby.
The Newcastle Jets – who eventually finished bottom – put Roar to the sword in round two, winning 4-0 in front of a delighted home crowd.
GOAL OF THE YEAR
Brisbane found themselves 3-0 down in 27 minutes against a rampant Victory in round 15, before Dimi Petratos produced probably the best direct free-kick goal in the competition's history, smashing a viciously swerving piledriver into the top right-hand corner from 30 yards out.
GOLDEN BOOT WINNER
Besart Berisha (Victory), Jamie Maclaren (Roar) – 19
It was the most dominant one-horse race in Hyundai A-League history with Sydney FC clearing out to finish an astonishing 17 points in front of the chasing pack. Their 66 points were also a competition record, beating Brisbane's 2010/11 tally in three fewer games.
STORY OF THE FINALS
A fired-up Victory won through to meet Sydney FC in the season decider and took a first-half lead through Berisha.
Rhyan Grant equalised for the Sky Blues and after a scoreless period of extra-time, Sydney FC won 4-2 in a penalty shoot-out with Victory players Carl Valeri and Marc Rojas unsuccessful from the spot.