Chelsea are back, at least in The Champions League, as powerful and professional performance saw them overcome a feisty Porto 2-0 at Stamford Bridge to top Group G this evening.
Goals from the chest of luckless Ivan Macano and a second half blaster from Willian saw the Blues through but they were almost faultless from start to finish.
This was a game in which Jose Mourinho earns his massive pay packet.
His game-management was near perfect. Not once did he sit down in his dugout. He was ploughing the line with intent that rubbed off on the players.
Chelsea forced the early pace on a game they could not lose if they were to progress in the later stages of the Champions League. Porto had to win to progress.
And the Blues duly delivered on 11 minutes in extraordinary circumstances. Eden Hazard sent Diego Costa free. The striker saw his shot strike the legs of the goalkeeper Iker Casillas and bounced out to the unfortunate Ivan Marcano from whose the ball ricocheted off his chest and back into the net. Maicon clawed the ball back out of the goal , but the assistant goal line linesman Baris Simsek signalled the ball had crossed the line to put the Blues 1-0.
Costa was soon in action for needlessly leaving his leg into Casillas when the ex-Real Madrid stopper picked up a loose ball. Casillas reacted as if he had being shot and Costa was handed a yellow card for his schoolboy antics by Turkish referee Cuneyt Cakir.
Oscar almost doubled the score on 28 mi Utes but after excellent set-up play with Hazard, saw his low shot take a slight deflection for a corner, when it seemed to be arrowing into the back of the Porto net.
The visitors first shot on goal came from Danilo with four minutes of the half remaining. Thibaut Courtois easily smothered the effort.
The final action of the half saw Casillas tip away non-goal Lund shot from Costa.
There were no changes of personnel by either manager at half-time.
Willian had a fine strike two minutes after the restart which Casillas did well to party away.
Jesus Corona parted the Chelsea defensive wall seconds later and let fly with a swift right-footer. Thankfully Courtois plucked the ball out of the air.
The second goal was always on the cards and it came from the bullet right foot of Chelsea man of the season so far Willian who let fly from just inside the Porto penalty area after picking up the slide rule pass from Oscar.
From this point onwards, Jose Mourinho's sole aim was to see the game out and not concede and hope to pick up a counter-attack goal. Hazard almost obliged following a mazy run, but his byline shot beat Casillas but not the foot of his right post.
A succession of Chelsea substitutions reinforced Mourinho's strategy and the whistle was not far behind.
The Blues now return to league action on Monday when they face surprise league leaders Leicester City and the King Power stadium.
Teams: Chelsea, Courtois, Ivanovic, Zouma, Terry, Azpilicueta, Ramires, Matic, Willian, Oscar, Hazard, Costa
Subs, Begovic, Cahill, Mikel, Kenedy, Fabregas, Pedro, Remy
Porto: casillas, Pereira, Martins Indi, Maicon, Marcano, Brahimi, Herrera, Corona, Layun, Danilo, Imbula
Subs, Helton, Neves, Varela, Aboubakar, Tello, Evandro, Bueno
Referee Cuneyt Cakir (Turkey)