In an era of lone spearheads, false nines and 4-2-3-1 formations, the traditional strike partnership had appeared obselete.
But the stunning impact of the Luis Suarez-Daniel Sturridge alliance has ignited an unexpected debate: Is the Liverpool front pair the best of its kind in the Premier League?
The stiffest competition comes from Manchester, where United and City, Sunday’s trip to Stamford Bridge notwithstanding, are the only other two top-tier clubs that prefer to deploy a genuine second striker rather than the kaleidoscope of attacking midfielders that is de rigeur for the modern coach.
In Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney, United has a front pair to strike fear into any defense. Both are thoroughbreds whose track records bear the closest scrutiny.
Across the city, there are too many sky blue-chip forward options to justify a regular front duo even if Sergio Aguero, the club's pre-eminent assassin, has already formed an appetizing partnership with Alvaro Negredo.