A goalless draw on a rainy afternoon in Birmingham against Aston Villa was not what Manchester City would have hoped for from a trip to a side at the foot of the table, with title rivals Arsenal playing shortly afterwards.
There were plus points, however, for the Citizens. On another day, the visitors would have snatched the three points were it not for some dogged and determined defending from the claret and blues - sprinkled with a slice of luck of course.
But what of Villa's pet hate? The villain for the Villans, if you will? In other words, just how did Fabian Delph's afternoon go on his despised return to Villa Park?
BECOME A WRITER
Do you have what it takes? Sign up today and send over your 250 word test article: https://gms.to/haveyoursay3
Well, it was, in fact, what you'd expect: Snake this, snake that - so many snake references.
Alas, you could tell it was to be a difficult afternoon for the City new boy who is still yet to hit his stride due to injury problems. Judging by the shockingly hostile reception directed at the Englishman upon coming off the bench in the second half - this was just the warm up.
All game, every time the 25-year-old set foot on the touchline, a chorus of chilling boos rung around Villa Park followed by the waving of inflatable serpents - surely one of the most fickle responses to a player departure the Premier League has seen in a long time.
However, the former Leeds midfielder appears to have come out unscathed from all the hurled abuse, whilst especially giving thanks to City's travelling support.
In a post-match interview for CityTv, as per the Manchester Evening News, Delph stated:
"It was great, the fans gave me great support and always had my back, it was always going to be interesting coming back."
An uplifting sentiment from the travelling Sky Blues it seems, especially considering Delph's inactive period of injuries since signing in the summer.
"I had a lot of injury problems when I was younger but I always seemed to come over them," he added.
"I'm not 100 percent obviously - I've been coming on in the last couple of games but I'd like to say that, with the international break, hopefully, I'll get a couple of games here and there, come back firing and ready to go."
Surefire determination from the central midfielder and a great boost for City's ever-growing options in the middle of the park for an upcoming title challenge.
The anticipation of hostility is behind him, a campaign awaits and a chance to earn an illustrious Premier League medal - the best way to tease his hateful ex-supporters.