Last week, following Leicester’s phenomenal win at the Etihad, I wrote that the Foxes were now favourites to take the Premier League crown.
Seven days later, and the whole thing’s been ripped up again.
Sunday was the day for drama. First Arsenal shocked Leicester with a very, very late goal courtesy of forgotten man Danny Welbeck, and then Tottenham did the unthinkable and beat the Citizens on their own turf, a sublime Christian Eriksen goal securing all three points for Mauricio Pochettino’s side.
All of a sudden, Leicester’s status as title favourites looks somewhat shaky. It’s true that Claudio Ranieri’s side are still top, but their lead has now been cut to two points, with both sides from North London hot on their heels.
And on the evidence of Sunday’s late game, Spurs’ clash with City, Tottenham should not be written off in this title race.
Pochettino’s men were fantastic, more than a match for the expensively assembled, star-studded City side. It must be admitted that they were very fortunate to be given a penalty following a dubious decision by referee Mark Clattenburg, but what was most telling was the fact that, for the first time in a number of years, Spurs looked more than equal to City.
They pressed, they harried, they looked comfortable in possession. In short, they looked more than capable against a side that most billed as the champions elect before Leicester’s stratospheric rise to the top.
Now things get interesting. With 12 games to go, the title race is wide open, and the Premier League crown looks likely to land on the head of one of three teams – Arsenal, Tottenham or Leicester.
Tottenham’s run in is by no means easy. Not only must they combine their Premier League efforts with the Europa League and the FA Cup, but they are also due to face Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea before the season is over, as well as arch rivals and fellow title contenders Arsenal on March 5th.
If one was to predict what would happen to Spurs over the next couple of months, then they would be inclined to predict a falling away, a collapse. After all, that is what Tottenham have been notorious for in recent years.
But something seems different about this Spurs side. There’s intelligence, there’s steel and there’s hard work. If Tottenham are to win the Premier League anytime soon, it seems likely that this season would be their best chance, and on the evidence of Sunday, only a fool would write them off.