After a weekend with very little to shout about, the Premier League came back with a vengeance in midweek, producing some wonderfully entertaining football all across the land. 29 goals were scored, and over a third of them were in north London and Merseyside, as Liverpool and Arsenal romped to five-goal victories.
But they weren't the only two having fun.
It was a wonderful piece of invention from Sadio Mane, after a poor initial first touch. But the height he got on that backheel faded all else that had come before it into oblivion. It's the kind of backheel you dream about scoring in a goalmouth scramble during Wembley doubles - truly the sweetest of connections.
But, contrary to all that oblivion talk, let's not ignore the ball in from Trent Alexander-Arnold that Mane so mishandled initially, because *spoiler* the Englisman recorded a hat-trick of wondrous assists this game and he's still not going to win best assist, but deserves some recognition. Every single one of them was inch perfect, with the ideal ratio of whip, power and height. Lovely to see.
I was almost tempted to go for Olivier Giroud here, but we'll come to that extra special moment in a second. Now, just as with Alexander-Arnold at Anfield, you could probably pick out any number of assists from the game at the Emirates, specifically from Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and argue its supremacy.
But I'll go with the one that involved them both, because they were the two best players on the pitch by far. Mkhitaryan pounced on a loose ball (we'll get to this as well) to play in the German who, having scored already, was all too happy to prop the ball back to Mkhitaryan who subsequently rifled home. For some, the lofted nature of that pass might've looked sloppy. But for Mesut Ozil - on one of his best nights this season - it was a touch of genius, allowing the Armenian to slam it home with the appropriate oomph.
Worst Defensive Error
We said we'd get to this and here we are. It's a competitive category, but before we crown the true winner (loser), of which most are surely aware, let's run through the nominees.
We have Adam Smith's loose switch of play that let Mkhitaryan in for that last goal; we have Matteo Guendouzi dawdling on his own penalty area before being scythed down for Bournemouth's sole score; we have Hugo Lloris playing the ball straight to Pedro, AND we have Kieran Trippier playing the ball straight into the net from Giroud's flick on.
And, right at the last, we have our winner (loser). What a moment. What a mix-up. The best thing about it? I still don't know who to blame more. On the one hand, Trippier HAS to look before he plays that ball. On the other, why/what/where is Lloris??? Shoutout to Willian for following it up as well, if only to clatter into the net after it had already bulged. That's great play.
The Alisson save is fast becoming high-end Art. And, if you're into high-end Art, then you'll know that the only way high-end Art can be improved is if it is rendered in black and white. Hence we have edgy Alisson.
But that isn't to take the gloss off this save, because it was truly a fantastic stop. While the stakes weren't exactly towering - the Reds were 3-0 up with 14 minutes to go - the Brazilian still had no real right to redirect Andre Gray's thumped effort from close range over the bar. Magnifique.
Best Romelu Lukaku Goal Against Mid-Table Opposition
As Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put it after Manchester United's 3-1 dispatching of Crystal Palace, Romelu Lukaku grabbed his chance with both hands at Selhurst Park, netting the two crucial scores that distanced the Red Devils from their Eagle counterparts.
But the key question here is, which of these goals against mid-table (and Palace are 14th, so this is generous) opposition was better? Certainly, both have their merits, but it's got to be the first one, if only because it felt eerily similar to Mario Balotelli's infamous 'Why Always Me?' goal. As the Belgian turned around with minimal celebration, I was half expecting it. Now, wouldn't that have been a story, instead of just another brace against a bad team.
Anyway, well done Rom.
Best Meaningless Score
Meaningless is a harsh word to use in this context, but you would be forgiven for attributing it to Huddersfield's last gasp winner against Wolves on Tuesday. And yes, in the grand scheme of things, it is not going to alter anything about the Terriers ultimate fate this season.
But if you ask anyone inside that stadium, or any of the players in blue and white, or any of Jan Siewart's coaching staff, they would tell you the absolute opposite. It was pure pandemonium when that goal went in. And why not? That's what it's all about at the end of the day.