In a Premier League weekend that reminded us of the unpredictability of the coronavirus pandemic, with six fixtures postponed due to Covid outbreaks, Manchester City showed that, even in these most uncertain of times, some things never change.
The reigning champions extended their lead at the top of the table thanks to a 4-0 destruction of relegation-threatened Newcastle United at St. James' Park on Saturday afternoon, maintaining the momentum of their 7-0 midweek thrashing of Leeds and recording their eighth league victory in a row.
Centre-back Ruben Dias opened the scoring after just five minutes, and Raheem Sterling put a bow of City's performance by scoring a fourth - and his second goal in just over a week - in the 86th minute, with the outstanding Joao Cancelo and Riyad Mahrez the other scorers.
And it was a victory that saw City notch almost as many records as goals. They set new top-flight calendar-year high marks for total wins (34), away wins (18) and goals scored (106).
City's lead at the top of the table is now up to three points, owing to the fact both Chelsea and Liverpool dropped points this weekend. City are available to back at 1.392/5 in the Betfair Exchange Premier League Winner market.
Thomas Tuchel was forced to field a depleted side against Wolves at Molineux, with Chelsea's request for the fixture to be suspended in light of a Covid outbreak denied.
Even with the selection issues that beset the Blues, it was still a Chelsea side replete with top-class internationals. But they were able to muster just one shot on target en route to a goalless draw.
Chelsea, who have spent much of the season atop the table, have now won just one of their last four Premier League fixtures. They have slipped to third, six points adrift of City. The Blues can be backed at 1413/1 on the Exchange to be crowned 2021-22 champions.
In Sunday's late fixture, second-placed Liverpool took on Tottenham in what was one of the most gripping games of the campaign so far.
Spurs took the lead at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium thanks to a tidy Harry Kane finish - just his second league goal of 2021-22 - after a cutting through-ball from Tanguy Ndombele, as the home side aimed to hit their visitors on the counter at every opportunity.
Liverpool responded late in the first half, when Diogo Jota expertly headed home from an Andrew Robertson cross. And in the second period, Robertson himself gave the Reds a 2-1 lead, only to be sent off for a reckless challenge shortly after Son Heung-min had equalised.
There could be little argument with the decision to dismiss Robertson for his hack on Emerson Royal. There was consternation among those of a Liverpool persuasion, though, because Kane had not suffered the same fate for his own out-of-control lunge on the left-back in the first half.
The draw leaves Jurgen Klopp's men three points behind City. The Reds are available to back at 54/1 on the Exchange in the Premier League Winner market.
From a Spurs perspective, any tinge of disappointment at being unable to capitalise on the one-man advantage they enjoyed for the final 13 minutes is tempered by the encouragement of another fine performance under new manager Antonio Conte.
Tottenham had benefitted from a soft start to life under the Italian's change, with a 100 per cent record accumulated through fixtures against Leeds Brentford and Norwich. Liverpool represented by far the toughest challenge of Conte's nascent reign, and they held their own, creating enough chance to have won the game.
Spurs currently sit seventh in the league, six points outside the top four. But this something of a false position due to their last two fixtures having being postponed. Win their two games in hand and they'll be right back in the mix for a Champions League spot. Tottenham can be backed at 4.77/2 in the Top 4 Finish market.
As things stand, though, fourth position belongs to Tottenham's bitter north-London rivals Arsenal.
In what was the only game left standing on Saturday after a slew of Covid postponements, the Gunners hammered Leeds 4-1 at Elland Road.
Signs of a bright future for Mikel Arteta's side were abundant in West Yorkshire, with youngsters Gabriel Martinelli (two), Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe all scoring.
It was Arsenal's third victory in a row and the Gunners can be backed at 3.711/4 to finish inside the top four this season.