When Sunderland inflicted Chelsea’s first home league defeat under Jose Mourinho back in April 2014, the result had the feeling of a flash in the pan.
It was an impression only substantiated by the Blues’ going on to win 14 of their first 15 Stamford Bridge outings of 2014/15, but then came Bradford.
What was so incredible about the Bantams’ 4-2 FA Cup win in west London was that they deserved it, having taken their chances better than their hosts during an even contest.
Since the Phil Parkinson-masterminded upset, Chelsea’s previously potent powers of point collection on the homestead have evaporated.
In six subsequent matches they have won just once inside regular time and that solitary victory came courtesy of a deflected 90th-minute winner against Everton.
Not just Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City, but Southampton and even Burnley have left with their honour intact during that sequence.
Each of that quartet found the net at least once and a loosening of the Blues’ defensive grip has underpinned their home soil win drought.
Despite this, the bwin odds moguls still offer a very generous-looking 91/100 about ‘Will Chelsea win to nil? No’ when Stoke City visit Stamford Bridge this weekend.
The Potters recent road form suggests they’re more than capable of keeping their part of the bargain for all their historic inability to bag away to the west London side, having found the net in eight of their last ten fixtures beyond the confines of the Britannia Stadium.
Chelsea are a mere 3/10 to register just their second normal-time triumph in seven home games, with the draw 9/2 and a Potters win as long as 21/2.
Even if Mourinho’s men restore the status quo with a victory, however, their form in front of their own partisans is likely to retain a chequered look until the end of the campaign at least.
Manchester United and Liverpool are among their remaining visitors, with tricky customers Crystal Palace and streak-busting Sunderland also on the agenda.