Surprise, surprise – it’s been another entertaining weekend of Premier League football.
It had a Leicester team finally looking like the reigning champions they are, the most goals (29) ever scored on a six-game Saturday and some battling Sunday fixtures.
So, what can we learn from it all? Here are five key lessons learned in the last 48 hours.
John Stones is promising but still worryingly raw, having gifted the ball to Vardy for his third. Bacary Sagna, Pablo Zabaleta and Aleksandar Kolarov are no longer up to the task of shepherding a team to the title and the injured Nicolas Otamendi flatters to deceive.
In goal, the arrival of Claudio Bravo has done wonders for former number one Joe Hart’s reputation.
Pep Guardiola says he refuses to change his philosophy, which means he must change personnel.
While rivals continue to rotate players and styles, the Blues are a predictably effective unit. The starting 11 hardly changes, the primary goal threat is invariably Premier League top-scorer Diego Costa and the clean sheet count is now up to seven in nine games since Antonio Conte changed to a three-man defence.
The challenge has been put out to all and sundry: you know how we play, come and stop us. The answer remains elusive.
His confidence was built around three victories from the previous four matches but blown apart in emphatic fashion as the Swans ran out 3-0 winners at the Liberty Stadium.
The Blacks Cats duly sank back to rock bottom and there can be no more room for delusion – survival is the best and only aim for the embattled Wearsiders.
Having opened his account for the club against Zorya Luhansk in midweek he buried a fierce drive to see off Tottenham on Sunday. That is arguably the best result of Mourinho’s rein and it was delivered by a player he has been bafflingly lukewarm on.
Robert Snodgrass has been in wonderful form for struggling Hull this season and without the Scot they would surely be high and dry already. But he burned through a good deal of good will when he tumbled theatrically to the deck to earn a penalty in the 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace.
Apologies from my end it was never a penalty, but genuinely thought defender was going to slide, so tried to ride the tackle🙌— Robert snodgrass (@robsnodgrass7) December 10, 2016
He took to Twitter to offer a flimsy explanation about taking preventative action but that will not wash. Diving is everywhere and ruining games up and down the country on a weekly basis. Rugby Union referee Nigel Owens even called a radio phone-in to call for a citing process.
It’s time for the FA to take heed.