Manchester City are right back in the Premier League title hunt, with victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday drawing them level on points with table-topping Chelsea.
The Blues will get an opportunity to offer their response on Monday when they visit Stoke City, but the reigning champions have moved ominously onto their coattails.
Eight straight wins in all competitions have allowed City to make positive progress at home and abroad, with domestic success complemented by qualification out of the Champions League group stage.
They have key men firing on all cylinders again, even when taking into account an untimely injury crisis.
Manuel Pellegrini finds himself without leading frontmen Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic, but he has the strength in depth to handle such selection headaches.
He also has attacking talent that can help carry the load, with former City midfielder Trevor Sinclair picking out two key figures that help to keep things ticking over at the Etihad Stadium.
He told Sky Sports News: “When you have got players like (David) Silva, he’s like a wizard. He never gives the ball away, he’s so creative. He earns room on the pitch and has got the ability to play key passes. If you get him in behind the line of a back four, you are going to create chances, you are going to create problems for the opposition, and I think that is what he brings to the table.
“You put into that mix Yaya (Toure), Milner – who is probably the best professional in the game. He doesn’t play half the time but when he comes in he looks match fit, so he must look after himself unbelievably well. You have to tip your cap to him.”
Sinclair also believes that Pellegrini’s coaching methods have helped to keep City competitive, with the Chilean tactician in control of matters on and off the field.
He added: “To see Pellegrini working - I thought Brian Kidd would be doing a lot of the work there, going through things and Pellegrini would be in the background, oh no. Pellegrini is hands-on, doing the sessions, and to see that is brilliant.”
Silva netted twice for City against Palace, helping them to a 3-0 win on home soil.
He proved to be the difference on the day, with the Eagles having held firm for 49 minutes.
Pellegrini will be expecting more of the same from his Spanish schemer as he waits for frontmen to return, and Milner will also be a useful asset as his versatility allows him to slip seamlessly into the fold in just about any position on the park.