Mauricio Pochettino wore the smile of a proud man after his Tottenham team somehow escaped with a point from the Etihad, but beneath that was the stark realisation that his club is in danger of being left behind in the Premier League arms race.
There are two definitions of ‘charisma’ in the dictionary - and while Jose Mourinho may prefer the description as a ‘divinely conferred power or talent’, we're sticking to the more traditional understanding of the word - a ‘compelling attractiveness or charm that can inspire devotion in others’.
Vincent Kompany, 11 years a loyal Manchester City servant and a symbol of the stratospheric changes the club has undergone in that time, scored his first goal in 13 months at the most opportune moment and in the most spectacular fashion last night.
When Heung Min Son smashed home the only goal of a dramatic game, to give Spurs a precious 1-0 lead to take to Manchester next week, the roar that erupted in their magnificent new stadium would have been heard loud and clear five kilometres down the Seven Sisters Road, deep in the heart of Arsenal territory.
Successive Premier League weekends have catapulted the ongoing issues of racism in football back into the headlines. For those misguided enough to believe racism is no longer a problem in football — and this includes FIFA, the governors of the game — such incidents are a wake-up call, but it is not just the footballing authorities that need to take notice.
The most-improved player award isn’t always the most coveted of titles, ranking somewhere above ‘clubman of the year’ but well below the more meaningful individual honours; but for two players at Sunday’s North London derby it is a story worth telling.
It’s the ultimate battle of philosophies in Manchester tomorrow. A classic clash of styles as the family pulling every stroke to pump as much money as possible into their club faces the family working every trick in the book to take it out.