Jose Mourinho meanwhile has been given a stay of execution or if you prefer it, a firm endorsement, by the Chelsea owner who once sacked him, Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea’s feeble display at home to a rampant Southampton cast doubt both on the team and its embattled manager, whose defiant statement in the wake of the loss had the smack of desperation.
That Mourinho at least at the moment does not inspire his team beyond dispute and he is making some strange errors. Notably and expensively his persistence in picking the clearly demoralised and vulnerable Ivanovic at right back, though again and again the once so versatile and dominant defender is now such a weak link in defence and no longer the force he has been in the recent past when he surged upfield to strike for goal or set up chances. Now he is all too easily drawn into the middle leaving expensive gaps where he should ideally be.
John Terry finally returned to the team against Southampton but looked untypically vulnerable, not least on one of the Southampton goals when he was passed all too easily.
As for Eva Carneiro, the Portuguese woman doctor whom he treated so dismissively, the decision of the FA committee looking into the incident seems deeply suspect, even if it turned basically on a single vowel.
When she ran on to the field, as was her undoubted duty, to treat Hazard, an infuriated Mourinho shouted at her in Portuguese. But did he as the committee decided, advised by a Portuguese speaker, use the word figlio meaning son (of a whore) or figlia, meaning daughter.
Greg Dyke himself was commendably critical of the way the matter was handled. An outraged women’s group insisted that the word was figlia for daughter, and indeed, the use of the word figlio in that context simply makes no sense; it would simply amount to a generic piece of abuse with no specific target.
Has Mourinho, in the vernacular, lost the dressing room? Those bombastic seven minutes which followed the collapse against Southampton suggested he is ill at ease. Morale is low.
Arsenal? Manchester United? The way the Gunners brushed United aside at The Emirates showed their huge potential and their sheer unpredictability.
Last season in the European Cup they collapsed pitifully at home to Monaco. This time they have foundered against modest Olympiakos at home and with two games against modest Olympiakos and with two games to come against a rampant Bayern Munich, hopes of progress in the European Cup look negligible.
Wenger surely bears a heavy responsibility for omitting Petr Cech from the Olympiakos game and replacing him with the errant Colombian, David Ospina, who gave away that embarrassing and seemingly demoralising second goal, which seemed to take the wind out of the Gunners’ sails.
Wenger has tried unconvincingly to maintain that Ospina’s choice was justified, but that goal spoke loud for itself and even the dazzling conquest of Manchester United, played off the park couldn’t compensate from the all too probable failure to to reach the knock out stage in the Champions League.
As for United, it’s plain that Louis Van Gaal, for all his colossal expenditure has a team deeply dysfunctional in sheer inconsistency.