It has taken until the end of February and a week before Shrove Tuesday, but finally the race for the 2018-19 Premier League title is a two-horse affair.
After 180 goalless minutes against Bayern Munich and Manchester United, Liverpool surged back to their attacking best with five goals against Watford.
Battered and bruised from 120 gruelling minutes in the Carabao Cup final, Manchester City escaped from the visit of West Ham with three points thanks to a Sergio Aguero penalty.
Liverpool maintained their one-point lead at the top of the Premier League on Wednesday
Manchester City squeezed past West Ham to keep pace with the league leaders
Tottenham's challenge may have gone up in smoke after back-to-back league defeats
And at Stamford Bridge Tottenham's challenge finally appeared to subside, a comical Kieran Trippier own goal condemning them to a second defeat in a row, leaving them nine points adrift of leaders Liverpool with 10 games to play.
After returning to the summit on Sunday it was a must-win game for Jurgen Klopp at Anfield, if only to arrest a run of form that had produced three wins in nine in 2019.
Liverpool responded in style. 'That was no fun at all. It were dog***t...', mused Ben Foster afterwards.
The evening began with some alarm as Jurgen Klopp named a reshuffled front three for just the fourth time in the league this season.
Surprisingly Sadio Mane began through the middle, with Divock Origi - a replacement for the injured Roberto Firmino - moving to the left.
'It was our first idea', said Klopp. 'We needed someone who can work in small spaces, give you something in behind and with pace.
'Sadio has played many positions in his career - for us too - so we knew he could do it well.'