A poor Chelsea performance saw them crash to a 2-1 loss to Portuguese giants FC Porto, in a sour homecoming for manager Jose Mourinho.
The night began with the news that regular first-teamers Eden Hazard, Nemanja Matic and John Terry would start the night on the bench, as the Special One rang the changes after the 2-2 all draw with Newcastle.
Despite the changes, it was the same old story for the West London outfit. Poor defending, sloppy passes and an all-round lethargic look about the struggling stars were again the theme of another Chelsea loss.
The excellent Yacine Behrami taunted Branislav Ivanovic all evening, and the likes of Ruben Neves and Gianelli Imbula provided the industry in the engine room that the Stamford Bridge outfit so desperately lacked.
Though Willian fired in a ferocious free-kick literally on the stroke of half-tine, the home side would soon retake the lead from a simple corner, allowing home captain Maicon to head home.
A Jose Mourinho side rarely ever concede from corners. Something must be wrong.
Here are another three things we learned…
Never short of superlatives for the stoic Serbian stalwart in years past, the defender looks a shadow of his former self. We had previously seen the likes of Jefferson Montero and Andre Ayew tear him apart, but his previous form told us it must only be a blip. Surely.
However, he looks slow, unassured in the tackle and a risk when isolated. He failed to deal with Behrami, standing off and allowing him time and space to get a shot away. That shot was then deflected into the path of Andre Andre, who opened the scoring.
Usually an imposing defender, he failed to win a single one of his seven tackles.
Granted, the Belgian did not start the game – though perhaps that only furthers the point. Last year’s Player of the Year had been (comically) described as playing at a higher level as Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, and had been talked about in the same bracket as other world class players.
However, he simply isn’t. The 24-year old was excellent last year, but his talents are erratic. He is nowhere near as ruthless, and can go missing from games when his side aren’t in control.
Pedro had been one of the most talked about players of the transfer window, with Chelsea swooping into steal him away from the clutches of Louis van Gaal at Manchester United.
However, the Spaniard looks to be out of his depth in a struggling side. He doesn’t provide enough threat in the final third or doesn’t get involved in much build up play for a man who graduated from La Masia.
In Spain he offered a more direct route next to the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta, but this Chelsea side don’t possess players of that quality of course. He is nowhere near the level of Alexis Sanchez, his former teammate.