And as the final whistle was blown in Arsenal's late game at Norwich, Arsene Wenger's side, which lost 1-0 to a Grant Holt goal, found themselves 10 points behind leaders Chelsea, who earlier beat Tottenham 4-2 at White Hart Lane. Somewhat predictably, both Manchester United and City bagged all 3 points, although City left it late as usual.
North London's finest both fell off the pace this weekend (Spurs are now 8 points behind pole position). So which manager, based on today's losing performances, should be more concerned - Arsene Wenger or Andres Villas-Boas ?
Well Spurs actually came out fighting today, and for long periods of the game matched their opponents shot-for-shot. In the end, the score slightly flattered Chelsea (where the difference was Juan Mata), although they did run out deserved winners - just.
On the positive side, Defoe put in a spirited performance - and clearly loves playing under manager Villas-Boas, Bale will soon be back, and the side remains on a fairly decent run. Gallas (especially defensively) and Dempsey, however, disappointed.
Champions League football remains the most realistic goal for Spurs this season, and there's nothing from today's performance that suggests the club won't be there or thereabouts come the end of the season. Villas-Boas will be gutted not to have got one over on his old club, but will be able to take away plenty of positives from this game.
Arsene Wenger, on the otherhand, will be feeling the pressure. Arsenal's season's has yet to really get going, dropping points against the likes of Sunderland and Stoke City and now defeat against Norwich. And 8th place after 8 games (10 points off the pace) is certainly not where Wenger wanted to be. Despite their possession today, Arsenal lacked urgency, were poor and simply seemed to run out of ideas. These are the games that need to be won if Arsenal is to once again be genuine title contenders. On this showing, and the evidence so far this season, Arsenal are simply fighting for 4th place this term (if they are lucky).
image: © Ronnie Macdonald