Chelsea suffered a smash and grab raid as they went down 1-0 to Bournemouth - a goal by substitute Glenn Murray consigning the blues to their eight league defeat of the season and halting what was a resurgence.
The inability to put the ball in the back of the net, despite masses of possession, undid all the hard work in recent weeks, which Chelsea fans had hoped signalled a turning point in an otherwise disastrous season.
Returning goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois made a howler of a mistake when Junior Stanislas sent across a regulation corner eight minutes from time. Courtois failed to punch the ball away and the ball was quickly pushed to the far post where Murray had the simplest of chances to nod the ball home.
Chelsea are now 17 points behind league leaders Leicester City.
Within the first minutes the Blues peppered the Bournemouth defence with Eden Hazard forcing Artur Boruc to a save from close range.
With Chelsea totally dominating the early possession, getting caught on the quick counter attack almost undid them on seven minutes when Hazard was disposed.
The ball fell to Junior Stanislas just inside the penalty area.
Thankfully for Hazard, the forward's goal-bound shot was hacked away by Oscar.
Twice Bournemouth could have scored when Stanislas and Joshua King had shot. Again, both were blocked, one from Courtois the other by Gary Cahill.
Seconds later on 15 minutes, Courtois was quick to react as King forced a fine near post save out of the returning from injury goalkeeper.
A fantastic break by the Blues on 34 minutes saw Pedro thread a beauty of a pass to Hazrad who made a mazy run on goal. He unleashed a thrilling zipper of a left-foot drive that Bpruc did well to parry away from goal.
Jose Mourinho opted, during the half-time break to bring on striker Diego Costa for the ineffectual Oscar.
An overhead kick by Pedro, three minutes after the restart, signalled the Blues intent to break down their resilient opposition.
Boruc however was quick to get his body behind the spectacular effort.
Matic was next up, but he was a tad surprised by the brilliant byline cross from Willian and the ball bounced off his forehead and over Boruc's crossbar.
Dan Gosling then hacked the ball off the line as the Blues went for the jugular.
Costa , perhaps inevitably entered the book of referee. Michael Jones on 63 minutes. A minute earlier he thought he had won a penalty when his cross hit the hand of Simon Francis which Jones ignored. That frustration was carried into his next challenge which brought the yellow card.
Incredibly, with eight minutes to go, and with their first attack of the second half, Bournemouth scored. Courtois made a hash of a Stanislas corner and substitute Glenn Murray was on hand at the far post to nod the ball into the net.
Teams: Chelsea, Courtois, Ivanovic, Fabregas, Zouma, Baba, Oscar, Hazard, Pedro, Matic, Willian, Cahill
subs, Begovic, Mikel, Traore, Remy, Costa, Azpilicueta, Loftus-Cheek
Bournemouth: Boruc, Francis, Cook, Gosling, Surman, Arter, Daniels, Smith, King, Stanislas, Richie
Subs, Allsop, Rantie, Kermorgant, Murray, O'Kane, Butcher, Cargill
Referee Michael Jones