With Robin van Persie firing a blank for Manchester United last night, Luis Suarez and Theo Walcott both cut the gap to the Dutchman at the top of the Premier League goalscoring charts by notching in the thriller between Arsenal and Liverpool.
Suarez cashed in on a slip by Bacary Sagna to break the deadlock after barely three minutes at the Emirates and continue a superb run of form which has seen him score six goals in his last five league outings.
The Uruguyan’s latest strike in north London took him on to 17 Premier League goals for the season, just one shy of Van Persie, who was unable to add to his tally as the Red Devils edged to a 2-1 home victory over Southampton.
It seems remarkable to think now that there were plenty of so-called ‘experts’ who declared on the evidence of his debut campaign in England last year that Suarez would never be a prolific goalscorer for the Reds.
And even with the arrival of Daniel Sturridge now seeing the former Ajax man take up a starting position on the left of a front three rather than playing through the middle, there is no reason to suggest that the goals will start to dry up.
Nevertheless, Van Persie remains a strong 3/5 favourite with bwin to win the golden boot for the second season running, while Suarez is available at 3/1.
Anyone joining bwin.com today can claim a free £20 bet and placing this on Suarez to finish as Premier League top scorer would return £80 if successful.
Walcott, for his part, grabbed a stunning equaliser as Arsenal fought back from two goals down to claim a 2-2 draw against the Reds, hammering an unstoppable shot past a bamboozled Pepe Reina.
The 23-year-old now has 11 Premier League goals to his name – while also notching in each of his last four appearances – and his odds of landing the golden boot have subsequently been slashed to 25/1.
Much like Suarez, Walcott is now routinely making a mockery of the critics who claimed he would never possess the requisite end product to be a top-class player.
Amazingly, many of those naysayers still exist and, even more amazingly, some of them are regulars at the Emirates – perhaps they have failed to notice that Walcott now has 18 goals in all competitions this season (and it’s only January).
Meanwhile, Van Persie’s failure to notch against Southampton allowed Wayne Rooney to step out of the former Arsenal skipper’s shadow – where he has been for much of the season to date – by firing a much-needed brace.
Those two goals moved Rooney on to nine in the Premier League and with a favourable set of fixtures on the horizon for United, a price of 40/1 on the England striker winning the golden boot could soon start tumbling further.
However, with 16-goal Michu (25/1) seemingly hitting the wall and 14-goal Demba Ba (12/1) not assured of a starting place at Chelsea, the battle to finish top scorer could well develop into a two-man tussle between Van Persie and Suarez in the remaining weeks of the campaign.