A not inconsiderable amount of goal dust was generated by the Capital One Cup third round, but Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all emerged on the other side.
The trio represent the leading protagonists in the outright betting for the tournament at 5/2, 7/2 and 13/2 respectively.
At first glance, it may seem that Liverpool received the raw end of the draw conducted so diligently by Glenn Hoddle and the forever-boyish Jermaine Jenas in the wake of Tottenham’s victory over Nottingham Forest.
Chelsea travel to League Two Shrewsbury Town in the round of 16, while the Citizens entertain a Newcastle United side that haven’t managed to score against them in five meetings.
Brendan Rodgers’ men, on the other hand, must face 2013 winners Swansea, who have started the campaign in a very convincing manner and overcame Everton 3-0 in the last round.
Yet looking at the paths to glory undertaken by many a recent Capital One Cup winner, it may just be that taking on rivals of the highest calibre earlier in the competition is boon to chances of ultimate triumph.
In 2012/13 the Swans themselves had to down both Liverpool and Chelsea en route their Wembley pleasure cruise against Bradford City.
A season earlier the Reds had negotiated a similarly tricky passage, besting Stoke, Chelsea and Man City to set up their League Cup final date.
Back in 2009/10 Manchester United had to eliminate top-flight bedfellows in four of the five ties they completed before lifting the trophy.
Coincidence? As with everything in life to an extent, yes, but playing and overcoming strong teams early in the competition undoubtedly has the effect of focusing players’ minds on the very real silverware at the end of what is a much-made-light-of tunnel.
For Chelsea and, to a lesser extent City, foes who inspire little in the way of fear bring with them the spectre of complacency, a ghostly presence whom Liverpool will have little cause to contemplate when the Swans comes to town in round four.