The performances of Juan Manuel Mata could prove the ultimate difference as to whether or not the Premier League title ends up in Manchester come the end of the season.
It is hard not to think that Manchester will be the destination for the Premier League title in May, given the way that both clubs from the city dominated their respective opposition this weekend.
Manchester City produced arguably their most impressive display under Roberto Mancini when Edin Dzeko’s four goals inspired them to a 5-1 triumph away at Tottenham.
However, Manchester United were not to be upstaged and ran even more riot at Old Trafford by beating Arsenal 8-2 and the pair are only two in the Premier League who have maintained 100 per cent records through the opening three games.
It is now 1/3 in the Premier League odds that Manchester is the title-winning city and based on their early season developments, this looks virtually guaranteed.
Chelsea have failed to set the world alight so far, but without playing particularly well, they have still amassed seven points.
The team are still getting used to playing in the style wanted by new manager Andre Villas-Boas and are certainly likely to improve in the coming months.
Another reason for this progression will be the impact of Juan Manuel Mata, who showed in his 23-minute cameo against Norwich what Chelsea fans can look forward to.
His movement, link play and probing passes could add another dimension to Chelsea’s attacking impetus and once getting used to the speed and style of the Premier League, he could become a player of the season candidate in the making.
Class is permanent as the saying goes and there is no doubt that Fernando Torres will rediscover his scoring touch in time.
Meanwhile, with Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka also having no difficulty knowing where the goal is, Mata will without doubt be an integral part of their season.
Chelsea are 7/2 in the Premier League odds and this is a fabulous price if they are still on the periphery of the league leaders at Christmas.