Arsenal and Chelsea drew 0-0 in the English Premier League on Monday night, while a stone’s throw away in north London Tim Sherwood was appointed Tottenham Hotspur manager until the end of the 2014/15 season.
The result at the Emirates Stadium means Liverpool go into the Christmas fixture list top of the table, ahead on goal difference from Arsenal with Chelsea a further two points behind in fourth.
Sherwood, who won the Premier League as captain of Blackburn Rovers in 1995, is promoted from his job of youth development manager at Spurs, a week after Andre Villas-Boas was sacked following a 5-0 home defeat by Liverpool. Sherwood oversaw Tottenham’s win against Southampton on Sunday that put them seventh.
"We were extremely reluctant to make a change mid-season, but felt we had to do so in the club's best interests," chairman Daniel Levy said on the club website.
"We have a great squad and we owe them a head coach who will bring out the best in them and allow them to flourish and enjoy a strong, exciting finish to the season.
"We are in the fortunate position of having within our club a talented coach in Tim Sherwood. We believe Tim has both the knowledge and the drive to take the squad forward."
A highly-rated coach technically, the 44-year-old Sherwood joined Spurs four years after winning the Premier League and stayed until 2003 before returning five years later to join the coaching staff.
He takes over a team on which Tottenham have spent more than the $137 million they received from Real Madrid for Gareth Bale on internationals like Roberto Soldado, Paulinho, Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen.
Chairman Levy is known to be short on patience but Sherwood will hope that his brand of attacking football can deliver a top-four finish and a place in next season's Champions League which was the minimum requirement that eluded Villas-Boas.
The Portuguese, who took over in July 2012, had been under pressure after a 6-0 thrashing at Manchester City last month following a 3-0 home reverse by West Ham United, who again won at White Hart lane in the League Cup quarter-final last week.
The disappointing 2-1 Cup exit was Sherwood's first game as interim head coach but he engineered a 3-2 win at Southampton on Sunday to leave Tottenham seventh in the standings, six points off leaders Liverpool and north London rivals Arsenal.
That result helped his claims to be given the top job on a more permanent basis and Sherwood now has a chance to show what he can do in his first job as head coach with Chris Ramsey, Les Ferdinand and Steffen Freund all part of his first-team set up.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies