03-Jan-2018 18:30:08 | The Guardian
This was the fixture, last season, that effectively decided the title race. Not quite in the way we might have imagined when Arsenal ran out easy 3-0 winners in September 2016, of course; Chelsea’s humiliation inspired Antonio Conte to give his defence a good old shoogle, and the rest is history. But it did decide the title race. Kind of.
There’ll be no similar legacy this time round. Chelsea’s title defence has been decent by any normal measure; problem is, Manchester City are setting some very abnormal standards right now. And in most years, Arsenal would still be on the fringes of the title race too. But all that’s realistically left on offer are positions two through four, and a place in next season’s Champions League. Hey, there are worse fates.