They still have a long way to go and one good game does not a season make, but Chelsea showed once again in their win over Manchester City that they should not be ruled out of the Premier League title race.
Despite falling behind to an early Mario Balotelli strike, Chelsea were the better team for a majority of the game and a goal from Raul Meireles and a Frank Lampard penalty saw the Blues home 2-1.
City may bemoan the sending off of Gael Clichy and the penalty awarded against Joleon Lescott – as well as the failure to award a penalty for a foul on David Silva – but the victory sends out a strong message and will allow Andre Villas-Boas to sleep a little easier at night.
The Blues have now been cut to 8/1 to win the Premier League but remain seven points behind Man City whose undefeated start to the season came to an end at Stamford Bridge.
There are plenty of tough tests awaiting Chelsea in the coming weeks – not least a trip to White Hart Lane just before Christmas – but suddenly the title race has started to look interesting.
Meanwhile, Ladbrokes appear to believe the Blues are all but guaranteed to qualify for the Champions League come the end of the season and they are currently 1/4 to finish in the top four.
That would be the minimum required of Villas-Boas and his Chelsea team but, after a brilliant couple of days for the Blues that also saw them qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League, this could yet turn out to be another trophy-laden season for the Londoners.