Jose Mourinho endured a nightmarish return to Stamford Bridge as his Manchester United were walloped 4-0 by Chelsea.
The match was only 30 seconds old when Pedro Rodriguez took advantage of confusion in the United defence to pounce on a lobbed pass, leave David de Gea stranded, and slot into an empty net — an inkling of what was to come.
Gary Cahill doubled the advantage 20 minutes later, profiting from yet another mix-up in the clearance of a corner kick to slam home from close range.
Chelsea were in complete control and deservedly increased the tally 17 minutes into the second half after a trademark Eden Hazard run plus a neat interchange with Nemanja Matic allowed the Belgian drive the ball past a helpless de Gea.
It was an unlikely player — one who had never featured on the scorers’ sheet this season — who added the fourth. In the 70th minute, N’golo Kante worked the ball past Paul Pogba first and Chris Smalling next, and — with de Gea again badly exposed — he calmly strolled the ball into the far left corner of the goal post to hand Mounrinho his heaviest defeat as a Premier League manager.
At one point, it looked as though Jose Mourinho was about to give one of his ‘chin up’ gestures to his players when he was losing mercilessly. It turned out the Manchester United manager was merely wiping water from his face.
Just as well, as by then the game was up. Chelsea had just scored their fourth goal, their manager Antonio Conte was leaping around his technical area like a school boy on Christmas day and some United fans were beginning to check train timetables north.