Look at that. Big Sam pulls a handful of Allardici-brand magic from his grubby trouser pocket and suddenly everyone thinks we’ve got a title race back on our hands.
It could be short-lived, of course. If Chelsea can catch their balance and squeeze out another three points against Guardiola’s erratic City side on Wednesday evening, the question could be answered before we’d even had a chance to consider the possibility.
Can Tottenham win the League?
As ever, it’s the hope that kills you.
Indeed, for Chelsea, losing to Crystal Palace might do nothing more than resurrect the beast; poke at a bleak corner of Antonio Conte’s neurotic psyche and inspire an even more ruthless approach to winning the remaining fixtures.
This is a man who doesn’t cope well with loss, remember. In the 2011/12 season, Conte had such a distaste for defeat, he agreed to go an entire domestic season avoiding it. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the West Londoners now just steam-rollered their way over the finish line and left Tottenham a crumpled mess on the roadside.
Still, at least it’s given pundits something to talk about and those who had all but handed Chelsea the trophy, pause for thought. Maybe Spurs could catch them.
‘It’s important, a massive three points for us to still believe’ said Pochettino after the win at Turf Moor.
If there is to be a late challenge, the first mandatory assignment is victory against Swansea tomorrow night. With a whole bundle of first team regulars are likely to be missing for the trip over the Welsh border, yet more pressure is heaped upon young Dele Alli, to continue the miraculous form which has seen him contribute at least a goal or an assist in his last four games.
Garth Crooks gave us his thoughts on Alli this week, in his TOTW column for the BBC. While he’s a big fan of the precocious 20-year-old, Crooks said he was exasperated by his penchant for tumbling in the penalty area: ‘If he wants to be a Steven Gerrard or Frank Lampard, Crooks said, ‘he must eradicate that from his game.’
There lieth some truth. Alli does often overstate contact in advanced positions— he did it to win a spot-kick against Southampton before the international break and he’ll probably do it again in the near future. As this video will reveal, however, I’m not sure Steven Gerrard was the best example to use.
Maybe Dele Alli is doing just fine.