In the end, Chelsea fans will have left the Etihad slightly disappointed at only claiming a point from their encounter with Manchester City, not least due to the identity of the hosts’ scorer.
Frank Lampard’s late equaliser resulted in a 1-1 draw and the most muted celebration most have ever seen, preventing Jose Mourinho from claiming a third consecutive Premier League win over the Sky Blues.
However, despite only drawing against 10 men, the result was another major boon towards Chelsea’s title hopes, and it seems almost certain they will make good on their 8/13 price to win the league.
Man City remain second in the betting at 13/5, with Arsenal a distant third at 9/1, but already three points clear at the summit, Mourinho’s men look set to hold onto top spot until May.
For a start, Chelsea’s three point lead is over Southampton and Aston Villa, a pair hardly likely to be in the reckoning come the business end of the campaign.
The Blues are actually already four points clear of Arsenal and five ahead of City, who have started slowly partly thanks to having been dealt a brutal hand by the fixtures computer.
The lead is reminiscent of Mourinho’s last title-winning season in England, when his Chelsea side started with nine straight wins and held top spot from the 24th August.
This time around Chelsea pushed ahead of the rest on goal difference after three rounds of matches, before taking an outright lead after beating Swansea 4-2.
Given that they were also top after the first gameweek, it could end up being the case that Tottenham Hotspur, who held first place after dismantling QPR 4-0 in week two, are the only other side to experience leading the league this term.
Chelsea’s fantastic summer in the transfer market, where they raided Spain to address the main issues in their squad by acquiring Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, could prove decisive in the title battle.
Costa is currently the league’s top scorer with seven, while Fabregas leads the way in terms of assists with six.
Meanwhile every other side in the league has already demonstrated alarming frailties, and Mourinho will be especially delighted with City’s apparent issues.
Yaya Toure looks a million miles from the midfielder that spearheaded the Citizens’ title win last term with 20 league goals while Sergio Aguero’s injury problems are ongoing.
Mourinho has won the league title in his second season at each of the four clubs he has managed so far. That record looks nailed on to be extended.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £100 in free bets.