There are moments that define a season and Carlos Tévez’s return to first-team action for Manchester City on Wednesday night could prove the most dramatic of shifts in the tussle for the title.
It wasn’t just the assist for Samir Nasri to dink over Chelsea’s Petr Cech with minutes remaining that was remarkable.
It was the change in attitude that seemed to take over the players when the Argentine was brought off the bench just after the hour.
It has often been said that a sign of champions is to win games that seem unlikely – when you’re 1-0 down with 12 minutes remaining for example – and Manchester United have made it their speciality over the years.
But with Tévez in City’s ranks they have someone who will not stop fighting until it is over and that, more than his footballing ability, is what dragged Roberto Mancini’s side over the line against Chelsea.
They will need more of the same in the remaining nine games if they are to wrestle the Premier League trophy from their neighbours, but with Tévez anything is possible.
It was announced earlier this week that Newcastle United have been fined £40,000 and Sunderland must pay £20,000 after accepting misconduct charges following the Tyne-Wear derby earlier in March – but do penalties like this really have an effect?
The match saw eight players booked as well as an angry touch-line exchange between managers Alan Pardew and Martin O’Neill.
Newcastle’s punishment for their part was higher because they were also charged last August following misconduct in their game against Arsenal.
But clearly the first punishment had no effect as the Magpies faced the same charge again less than a year later.
When clubs make millions of pounds in profit each year, such small monetary punishments are just not effective.
So how about bans? We see touchline bans for managers but technology is an easy way around this barrier. And bans for players beyond the ones imposed by receiving yellow or red cards seem unfair.
Perhaps it’s just a case of learning to curb passions and tempers.
Everyone knows that emotions fly high on a football pitch, be it in a Premier League match or just a kick-around with your mates in the park, but grown men should be able to control themselves.
While it’s nice to see passion in football games, particularly derbies like Newcastle and Sunderland, it’s important not to get carried away.
The FA need to be tougher to actually have any impact.
MORE: Man United latest news
MORE: Arsenal latest news
MORE: Chelsea latest news
MORE: Liverpool latest news