It certainly didn’t take long for the inevitable to happen.
Barely six months after his controversial appointment as Chelsea manager, 33-year-old Andre Villas-Boas was sent packing from his post at Stamford Bridge after the Blues were condemned to yet another league defeat by West Brom at the Hawthorns.
Gareth McCauley’s late strike finally sealed the pressured Portuguese’s fate and he will leave the club lying fifth in the table and on the brink of a premature Champions League exit.
But the beleaguered boss will surely be wondering how he could have ever been a success after such intense media focus and a lack of time and resources afforded to rebuild Chelsea’s ageing squad – which now appears to be cracked beyond repair.
Rafa Benitez and ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho lead the race for the hot seat.
Meanwhile, Manchester United took the sting out of Spurs with a fabulous 1-3 triumph at White Hart Lane as Ashley Young lashed in a brace to add to his recent goal for England against the Dutch.
Wayne Rooney also netted in what was a must win game for the Red Devils following Manchester City’s comfortable 2-0 result over Bolton Wanderers at the Etihad.
The gap between the cross-city rivals remains at just two points heading into the final eleven games of the campaign with Tottenham now beaten off in third.
And Harry Redknapp’s men could struggle to hold that position as Arsenal continue to press for the best possible finish to a difficult and indifferent season.
Buoyant from their 5-2 victory in the North London derby last week, the Gunners landed decent odds at Anfield against a flat looking Liverpool, courtesy of a double haul from star man Robin Van Persie.
Demba Ba fluffed a penalty for Newcastle but still managed to force an equaliser in a heated Tyne and Wear exchange at St James’ Park.
Nicolas Bendtner’s first half spot kick appeared to have been enough for Sunderland when keeper Simone Mignolet superbly parried away the Senegalese’s effort from twelve yards.
But the Magpies continued to dominate proceedings and Ba was on hand late in the day to bundle the ball home for a point – and reward the many punters who had anticipated a stalemate prior to the kick-off.
Elsewhere, new Fulham sensation Pavel Pogrebnyiak kept his shooting boots on as the Cottagers destroyed a woeful Wolves outfit 5-0, whilst Swansea City maintained their solid season with a cosy 0-2 away win at Wigan Athletic.
With the bottom five clubs separated by just two points, the battle to beat the drop is going to be just as frantic as the chase for Premier League glory.
Blackburn had the chance to suck Aston Villa into the equation at Ewood Park; however a 1-1 final score meant that the Villains retain adequate breathing space in 15th – with Rovers still up to their necks in trouble three places below.