Jose Mourinho was a relieved manager after Chelsea’s impressive win over Steaua Bucharest in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
The Blues ship was sinking as it made its way to Romania, after a shock loss at home to Basel in the opening round of fixtures and a hard-fought draw against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.
Hosts Steaua were in good form ahead of the game and, while a share of the spoils would have been acceptable, a second successive group stage defeat might have meant Chelsea were destined for a slog to defend their Europa League title.
However, Mou’s charges responded well from the outset and were deserved 4-0 winners on the night.
"We've put ourselves in a more balanced position," a business-like Mourinho said after the match.
"If we hadn't won today we'd have been in trouble but we cleansed a little bit the fact we lost the first game.
"Now everything is there. We have a double fixture against [the group leaders] Schalke, so it's open. We played a very good game from minute one."
Meanwhile, the evening had started with relief for Chelsea striker Fernando Torres, after he avoided an additional three-match ban for clawing the face of Jan Vertonghen at the weekend.
But it ended in despair for El Nino, whose recent run of improved form lasted just 15 minutes on the soggy Bucharest pitch, before he was forced off with a knee injury.
Mourinho says Chelsea’s doctors do not think the injury is too serious and that he should be back in action after the international break but the club is waiting for the results of a scan to confirm the initial diagnosis.
"If the injury can be recovered in 15 days then he will be fine for our next match, against Cardiff. The problem is if it's more time,” Mou said.
“It's a pity for the guy because, physically, he was in a very good moment. He played fantastically against Tottenham and deserved to start this game. That's the bad news."
The decision to let Romelu Lukaku go on loan despite his scoring form was somewhat vindicated by Torres’ own improvement.
But now that the Spaniard is facing some time on the sidelines, the wisdom of letting Lukaku go on loan will be questioned again.