And now for something totally unique: Manchester City v Liverpool. The earliest title decider ever seen. Well, not quite, of course. The pre-match heat, so intense and febrile, begot a match sizzling with fervour and movement, but when the mists cleared, we found that we’re all still gripped by the icy fingers of the first week of January.
Sergio Aguero is well aware just how big an impact tomorrow night’s meeting with Liverpool could have on Manchester City’s ambition to retain their Premier League title, and the Argentinian is hopeful he can continue his excellent scoring run against Jurgen Klopp’s side at the Etihad.
There had been severe doubts in many quarters about City’s ability to stage an apt Premier League coronation after the gross mishap in midweek when they had shot their Champions League feet off with the ceremonial cannons.
And then there were four. Four games and 12 points which Pep Guardiola and Manchester City require to make mathematically certain of the Premier League title after Bernardo Silva’s goal allowed his team to open up an 18-point lead at the top of the table.
The fortunes of Manchester City and Chelsea have followed vaguely parallel paths for much of the last five decades, but on the evidence of this match at the Etihad, the two clubs are heading in different directions right now.
Fantasy Premier League managers everywhere love a good moan about the allocation of bonus points - usually when one of their players gets short-changed. This week was very different, though.
The period 1991 to 2006 will probably carry little significance to most people reading these words, but in that not inconsiderable time frame, Manchester City registered precisely zero victories over Arsenal. To say the Gunners had become a bogey team was to massively misunderstand the word bogey.
Bobby Reid’s penalty drew first blood in this absorbing Carabao Cup semi-final first leg before the Championship team simply became the latest in a long line of teams to discover why Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester City are still on course for an historic quadruple.