While all Englishmen and women (well the ones that speak posh) were concentrating on whether a mix of public schoolboys, Rugby League converts and organo-phosphate poisoned farmhands could turn over the descendents of the Voortrekkers (and Percy Montgomery), proper football went ahead as usual... alas.
The lunchtime kick-off resounded to thousands of scousers (and some Liverpool supporters) baying for blood, but only one cry was answered in the affirmative - when Mark Clattenberg, on second thoughts, agreed with Stevie G that Tony Hibbert should get a red card and duly dismissed him. Stevie was soon hooked by Rafa who knows that it's the CL that will make his reputation, not parochial events like the.... Premier League.
While the England man cleared Tesco bags off the bench and settled down to sign photos for Clattenburg, Dirk Kuyt was showing that he could become the new Cantona and Carragher was pulling Lescott down on to his prone body like an aspirant porn star. Everton 1 Liverpool 2 and David Moyes minus 30 grand, once the FA blazers get round to a hearing. The Merseyside teams are now 11th and fourth respectively, which is where they are likely to finish. The Premier League have kindly given Clattenberg next weekend off so he can reacquaint himself with the rule book.
The six three o'clock games (a generous quota these days) saw Arsenal continue their season of wonder goals with a 2-0 win over a Bolton side bereft of the managerial influence of Sammy Lee (yes, there was no difference). Chelsea cruised to a 2-0 win at the Riverside over long term residents of "The Best League in the World" Middlesborough. Elano continued his quest to wrest the Footballer of the Year award away from little Cesc with another virtuoso display for Citeh as they ran out 1-0 winners over Mrs Doubtfire's Birmingham.
Sven's success in England and overseas gives him the kind of CV the FA will be looking for to replace Steve McClaren... or maybe not. The other three matches brought Portsmouth more points with a 0-2 win at Wigan, Fulham draw nil-nil with Derby in a game that won't have pleased Frankie Howerd lookalike Laurie Sanchez and Tugay (see above) leading his mob to victory over the Royals, as Blackburn ran out 4-2 winners over Reading.
On a channel nobody can watch except if you're at the pub, Manchester United defeated Aston Villa 1-4 without the help of Ronaldo, but with plenty of assistance from Rob "Hey, Look at Me!" Styles, who secured his usual quantum of camera-time by giving penalties and red cards to the Villa.
Roy Keane had squeezed out a very scary beard in the international break, but the face furniture (and all the talk of Black Cats - where did that come from?) didn't bring any luck, as West Ham were flattered by a 3-1 scoreline.
Champions League 2009 non-contenders Tottenham Coldspurs rounded out the weekend's fixtures with a 3-1 defeat at Big Sam's Newcastle. Martin Jol was doing his head slightly tilted back Mussolini look, but he'll be hanging from a lamp-post soon (metaphorically, I think).
And that's it, with just a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of European matches to keep us going before the weekend's matches kick off. Enjoy Friday!