Arsenal warmed up for their forthcoming gutless 3-0 away defeat at Southampton on a wet Saturday in December with a swaggering 2-0 resuscitation of St Totteringham, whose death turns out to have been greatly exaggerated.
It may have been only a 2-0 defeat of Tottenham in the North London derby, and Pochettino may have come over all Arsene Wenger in his judgment of the cruelty of the fates, but in truth Arsenal were in emphatic command and that balmy Wembley defeat of Real Madrid seemed but a distant memory.
You could even conjure the sound of ‘Wenger in’ chants after Alexis Sanchez added a cheeky second to Shkodran Mustafi’s emphatic opening header.
Who could have imagined the Gunners would look so potent with a front three of Lacazette, Sanchez and Ozil? Maybe Wenger might give them a fourth outing together…
Perhaps, next Spring, the Emirates not-so-faithful may celebrate again St Totteringham’s Day, the day when Spurs can no longer catch them.
To make matters worse for Tottenham, their table-top rivals all won comfortably. Gabriel Jesus, refreshed from his restful nap against England at Wembley, opened the scoring for Manchester City in what could have been a tricky fixture at Leicester City. The impeccable Kevin de Bruyne added a second from Sane’s cutback and it was City’s 16th consecutive win in all competitions.
Chelsea swept aside Tony Pulis’s troubled Baggies. West Brom were booed off at half-time and managed only two shots on target as the Blues won at a canter, 4-0.
Their goals – three of them in a cruise of a first half – came from Morata, Alonso and two from Eden Hazard.
“If you don’t get results, you’re under pressure,” said Pulis earlier this week.
Liverpool kept in touch with the pack who are trying to keep in touch with Manchester City, looking back to their imperious attacking best at times in a 3-0 win over Southampton.
Mohamed Salah hit two, one from a fine Coutinho pass, and no Premier League player has scored more than his 14 in all competitions this season. Coutinho himself got the third after Firmino’s shot was saved. Manchester United survived an early scare when they went behind to Newcastle United, coming back in style so emphatic that even Chris Smalling got on the scoresheet alongside the returning Paul Pogba, Anthony Martial and the inevitable Romelu Lukaku.
It may be only November, but Swansea City are beginning to have the stench of relegation about them. Goals from Jack Cork and Ashley Barnes saw Burnley home against the Swans – and moved them to within a point of the top four in seventh place. What would the Champions League make of a Sean Dyche team?
If Everton hadn’t managed to come away with something from Crystal Palace, it really might have been the end of the Toffees’ world. And when they went behind to a Macarthur goal in the first minute, things were looking bleak.
But Leighton Baines levelled from the penalty spot – and after Zaha pounced from close range, Everton had another equaliser in the tank, Gylfi Sigurdsson putting in Oumar Niasse in added first-half time.