In a three-horse race, the skills of the jockey assume an even greater importance.
Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City are now galloping towards the final fence on the last lap of an exhilarating season, with Jose Mourinho, Brendan Rodgers and Manuel Pellegrini neck and neck.
Pellegrini may have his nose ahead, but the Blues’ extraordinary 6-0 drubbing of Arsenal last weekend has renewed a belief shaken at Villa Park the previous week.
What of the remaining fixtures?
Liverpool still have to play Spurs, Manchester City and Chelsea, while City – having effortlessly disposed of their Manchester rivals in midweek – have to face Arsenal and Everton away, as well as that tricky fixture at Anfield.
Chelsea’s final run-in starts this weekend with a trip to Palace, but also contains two trips to Wales, together with that fateful April 27 date with the Scousers.
Jose is still playing down Chelsea’s chances, and it’s true that the title is City’s to lose as they sit three points adrift with two games in hand.
But Jose is no fool, and he knows that a title race which keeps surprising will still have twists.
The way Arsenal have suddenly lost confidence and momentum has been bizarre, and the Gunners could yet be caught for the fourth European spot by Tottenham or, more likely, dark horses Everton.
Chelsea fans have seldom enjoyed a fortnight so much.
Beating Spurs 4-0 felt like heaven, dismissing Galatasaray to set up a double-header against Paris St Germain was a great buzz as well, but trashing Arsenal 6-0 on the occasion of Arsene Wenger’s 1,000th match was about as good as it gets.
Disappointingly, Wenger opted for a seat on the Arsenal bus rather than accepting anniversary greetings from the media after the game.
Had it not been for the disastrous 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa, Chelsea and City could have been level at 3pm on the season’s final day.