ormal service resumed for Chelsea. Consider West Brom and the battle of Cobham well and truly behind them.
A 2-0 win against Porto has put Thomas Tuchel on the verge of the Champions League semi-finals – perhaps his second successive final after taking Paris Saint-Germain to the brink of European glory last season.
This felt like a personal triumph for Tuchel, who has handled his first setback in the job to perfection.
That 5-2 defeat had the potential to undo all the good work of his first couple of months at Stamford Bridge.
The training ground clash between Antonio Rudiger and Kepa Arrizabalaga in the wake of it was perhaps even more damaging.
But on this evidence, he called it just right.
No panicking after the defensive aberrations that allowed relegation-threatened West Brom to make mugs of the meanest of rearguards assembled by Tuchel.
And no iron-fist reaction to tempers flaring in the aftermath. Both decisions ensured dressing room unity remained intact ahead of a game of such importance.
It is the collective resolve of Porto that makes them such a daunting challenge. If Chelsea were anything other than totally unified in the neutral venue of Seville, the risk was they would go the same way as Juventus in the last round.
Instead this was a band of brothers-type display. In many ways a perfect European away performance.
There was pain to be had. Porto had their chances. Cesar Azpilicueta threw himself in front of everything in an ultimate captain’s display.
Edouard Mendy avoided the humiliation of being beaten directly from an Otavio corner by recovering sharply and in the second half he saved Rudiger’s blushes by repelling Moussa Marega with his legs.
That is what is required on nights like this. You need to cover your mate’s back when he makes a mistake. All for one and one for all.
Chelsea resisted Porto’s pressure and punished them at the other end. The first real moment of attacking quality from Tuchel’s side saw them find the back of the net.
Jorginho’s pin-point pass found a way through a supremely well-drilled Porto defence and Mason Mount did the rest, taking the ball and spinning in one before firing low past Agustin Marchesin.
A 1-0 scoreline, with an ‘away’ goal, would have been a thoroughly decent return, but credit must go to Tuchel for refusing to settle for that – and spotting the way to hurt Porto late on.
His second-half substitutions were positive. Christian Pulisic and Olivier Giroud replaced the ineffective Timo Werner and Kai Havertz to give a new dimension to Chelsea’s attack.
N’Golo Kante might have looked like an addition intended to see out the result, but his energy and driving runs in midfield completely caught out a tiring Porto side.
Pulisic hit the bar with one effort late on and moments after Ben Chilwell seized on a poor touch by Jesus Manuel Corona to burst through on goal, round Marchesin and all but secure Chelsea’s place in the last four.
It was less dramatic, maybe – but there were echoes of Fernando Torres and Barcelona when Chelsea conquered Europe in 2012.
If Tuchel repeats that trick this season – how pivotal will the days in the wake of West Brom prove to be?
A proper captain’s performance
It is incredible to think Azpilicueta felt like he was being phased out of Chelsea just a short time ago.
It was a case of handing over the baton to Reece James.
That was before Tuchel arrived and made him pivotal to a three-man central defence, which has reminded everyone of his quality.
That was in evidence in Seville as he put on a real captain’s performance, throwing himself in the way of Porto chances and leading by example.
With his fifth goal under Tuchel, Mount is now Chelsea’s leading scorer under their new manager.
And this was the latest example of his importance to the team.
He still does not get the credit he deserves, but the turn and finish to fire Chelsea in front in the first half was inspired.
If Jack Grealish or Phil Foden had done likewise it would be hailed as another example of their genius.
True, Mount may not possess their same eye-catching qualities – but he has been at least as effective as them this season.