CHELSEA 2 (Eden Hazard 17, Samuel Eto'o 34)
LIVERPOOL 1 (Martin Skrtel 4)
Welcome back, Jose Mourinho.
The English Premier League just hasn't been the same without you.
When the Chelsea manager is madder than a March hare on steroids, he smells blood.
He sniffs out fear like no other predator.
When he's good, he's bland. When he's bad, he's brilliant.
His belligerence right now betrays his optimism.
He senses silverware.
His euphoria at the Blues' battling 2-1 victory over Liverpool yesterday morning (Singapore time) was a throwback to his old fearlessness.
His devilishness delights in the defeat of others.
The devil had no sympathy for the Reds.
Instead he revelled in his team's revival.
Chelsea still have more holes than a Mourinho interview, but Stamford Bridge partied like it was 2004.
Their chief mischief-maker encouraged them to do so; ordered them to do so.
In the dying moments, Mourinho faced the crowd - the defiant lion-tamer of multitudes - and raised his arms.
He demanded roars. They reciprocated. He demanded more. They raised the roof.
The Portuguese puppeteer was well and truly back.
He had them all dancing on a string - the crowd, his players, his opponents, Brendan Rodgers, the pundits, even the usually unpredictable David Luiz.
They were all puppets in Mourinho's narrative.
He knew exactly what he was do- ing.
He needed the noise to drown out Chelsea's shortcomings. The Blues were hanging on by a thread.
This was not the Chelsea of old.
Mourinho no longer has Didier Drogba or a younger John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole to lead the cheerleading.
Mourinho must manufacture the momentum.
He knows Manchester City have the better squad.
He must call upon the smoke and mirrors.