FINAL WHISTLE VERDICT: GOOD RESPONSE
A spirited second-half display saw Chelsea come from behind to beat Cardiff City 4-1, making it three successive wins, and lifting us above Liverpool and into second place in the Premier League table.
The Blues had fallen behind inside nine minutes when Jordon Mutch capitalised on a mix-up at the back to give the visitors the lead, but we were back on level terms just after the half-hour mark when Eden Hazard equalised after Samuel Eto'o had won the ball from goalkeeper David Marshall.
Eto'o gave us the lead with his first goal for the club in the 65th minute, finishing in trademark style following a clever Hazard pass, and Oscar made it 3-1 with a wonderful strike which flew in off the underside of the bar 13 minutes from time.
There was still time for Hazard to add a fourth, doubling his personal tally late on, ensuring we head into Tuesday's crucial Champions League encounter with Schalke in fine form.
Jose Mourinho, as he did at Norwich, turned the game in our favour with his substitutions, replacing Juan Mata with Oscar and Ryan Bertrand with Fernando Torres, but the Blues boss was forced to watch much of the second half from the stands after leaving his technical area to complain to the referee about how time wasting was being judged.
The post-match media duties were handed to Steve Holland, with the assistant first team coach explaining the reasons behind Mourinho's frustration, before reflecting on the game's key incidents.
'Jose is very frustrated and it stems from the time wasting by the opposition from the first two or three minutes of the game,' said Holland. 'We mentioned it to the fourth official on countless occasions in a very professional manner. Where he assured us he had contact with the referee and that he was aware of the clear time wasting, he didn't appear to do anything about it and it didn't have any effect on the Cardiff players and the time they were taking for free-kicks and goal-kicks.
'The result changed from 1-0 to them to 2-1 to us and we had a throw-in right in front of the dug-out. I think they'd just kicked the ball out because they had to give us the ball back, the young ball boy who went to the corner flag threw it back, Ivanovic had it in his hands for two seconds, no more, and the referee was on to him about getting the ball back into play and pointing at his watch.
'It didn't run consistently with how that issue had been dealt with for the previous hour, so it's purely a case of huge frustration at that, and to have then been sent off for showing that frustration is very harsh.'
On our equaliser, which stemmed from Eto'o stealing the ball off Cardiff goalkeeper Marshall as he took a goal-kick...
'My view of it was that Samuel was on the shoulder of the goalkeeper, I think the goalkeeper was aware that he was there.
'He went to bounce the ball and as it was in mid-air Samuel touched it, the ball broke for us and we equalised. The referee had a very good view of it, I'm sure he's aware of the rules of the game.
'If that is the case [that the goal shouldn't have stood], over the course of the season those things can go for you or against you. The referee had a very clear view of it and was happy with it, so we move on.'
On a first Chelsea goal for Eto'o...
'It's always difficult when you change clubs, but to change countries and leagues as well increases that. He's scored goals at the top level throughout Europe all through his career, but I'm sure he'll still be feeling happier to have that first one under his belt and be off the mark.
'It's something the staff and players have seen on many days in training. Physically you can change as your life moves on but quality is permanent and we've seen that finishing in training for a good few weeks now and it was good that the supporters got to see it in a game today. Hopefully that's something we'll see more often in the future.
'All strikers like to be scoring goals, it's what helps makes them tick, and to get off the mark is something I'm sure he'll be happy about and hopefully we get the benefits of that immediately.'
On the mix-up at the back which led to Cardiff's opener
'It was uncharacteristic for us, our defensive record is very good but it was a misunderstanding at the back between the defensive players and the goalkeeper. The defenders thought the 'keeper had it, the 'keeper thought the defenders had it. It's not something that's occurred often and hopefully it doesn't happen too often in the future.'
On the overall performance
'It was a good response from the players to come back from that. When you're playing opposition who play, as they're quite entitled to, with so many players behind the ball and make it difficult for you, if you give them that break it gives them belief and creates anxiety in your own performance, so it wasn't a good start for us, but the players responded very well.'