The irritating international fixtures that have interrupted the domestic season at least offered up some pleasure to Arsenal fans who happened to tune in.
Dani Ceballos has had an impressive start to his loan spell in the Premier League and this gave supporters another opportunity to observe his delicate touches on a different stage.
The score, a 1-1 draw was irrelevant because there was a much more precious moment to savour than just points and entertainment. That moment came in the 64th minute, when the current Arsenal midfield ace Ceballos, was replaced by one of its favourite sons, Santi Cazorla.
Social media exploded with sadness, regret, joy and excitement.
The little Spanish magician is still very highly regarded by Arsenal fans and the love affair has not been lost since the Emirates wrote him off after an Achilles injury that nearly claimed his foot. At the time, Arsenal were advised by medical staff that Cazorla would never be the creative force that he once was and that he would, at best, be limited to 20 plus games per season.
Cazorla had no intention of quitting or hanging up his boots and has since appeared 54 times for Villarreal and worked his way back into the Spanish squad.
The truth of the matter is that Arsenal reacted prematurely and behaved extraordinarily poorly by almost pushing Cazorla through the exit door.
Most Arsenal fans are furious that the club had previously offered so many other lesser players a living, which they were unable to repay with the same quality, skill and enthusiasm of this immensely talented professional. If Mesut Ozil needed an example of commitment, dedication and application, he should have looked no further than the Spaniard.
Cazorla played with a smile, created chances effortlessly and could pick a game up by the scruff and dominate the entire 90 minutes.
The fact that the fans still talk about him and follow his every move away from the club speaks volumes about him.
The overwhelming feeling is that Cazorla never got the chance to say goodbye to the Arsenal fans and they were denied the chance to show their appreciation for all he contributed since his arrival in 2012.
The spotlight may be shifting in Spain towards a younger generation of players, but this indestructible little master has shown all the determination and fighting spirit that Arsenal fans are used to seeing on the field of play.
Ask any fan if they would swap Ozil or Ceballos for Cazorla and I can almost guarantee that the answer would be yes. He still has the touch, the power, the football brain and ability, as he demonstrated with his stunning rocket of a goal against Barcelona in September.
Even the Barcelona fans applauded the diminutive Spaniard and that doesn’t happen often or ever at the Nou Camp, which only has eyes for one set of players, but that night announced the return of an immensely gifted individual.
Players such as he don’t rely on blistering pace, they have something almost undefinable that makes them uniquely special and how Arsenal could do with that now, to add to the ranks of their emerging talent.