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The veteran midfielder has been used sparingly over the last couple of months but, up against his former club, the oldest player on the pitch was probably the game's sprightliest performer.
But the musical's darkest yet sprightliest number may be the closer: "Nothing Bad's Ever Going to Happen Again," a curtain-dropping pep-fest that promises the end to all social ills.
Still under the influence, perhaps, of the one-act, English-language abridgement, that the Met had offered as child-friendly holiday fodder, James Levine conducted the supplest, sprightliest Zauberflote I've ever heard from him.
Never the sprightliest of criminals, Phil is eventually taken away to do his porridge before returning properly in September.
The wonderful Billy Byrne - the sprightliest 91-year-old we've ever seen - has proven it.
Three weeks after her Birmingham ode, her muse was on the loose again: My Charlotte is the sprightliest lass That ever tripped the verdant grass, Or trod the flow'ry vale .