Chelsea's opening win over Hull showed the best of two of their key midfielders.
Chelsea have been linked with numerous midfielders over the summer, but in their dominant win over Hull it was two regulars of recent seasons who took centre stage.
New signing Marco van Ginkel will get his opportunity to show why he can replace Frank Lampard in the long-term, but in the short-term Chelsea are very well placed to cope until he finds his feet at his new club.
And that was illustrated by the performances of both Lampard and Ramires at the weekend, in the 2-0 win over Hull City.
Lampard missed an early penalty in the match, but scored the game's second with a free kick he admitted afterwards was one of the best of his career.
Frank Lampard's best moments are when he is given license to go forward and join the attack, and the presence and ability of Ramires allows him to do just that.
Ramires was crucial at the weekend, his four tackles made being more than any Chelsea player, recovering the ball on eight separate occasions. It was in the middle of the park where he exerted his dominance, making more passes than any other player on the pitch.
Ramires made 58 successful passes from 63 attempts, not only around the centre of the pitch but sending the ball forward to let the dangermen do the damage.
The graphic above maps Ramires' passing against Hull, making 13 passes to Kevin de Bruyne and 12 to Frank Lampard.
Lampard himself was key in the middle of the park too, making 50 passes of his own, between them making 24 passes in the attacking third of the pitch.
But it is Ramires' impact in the middle, and the knowledge he is there covering which gives Lampard the license to roam forward. When he does that he can offer a goal threat which of all of Chelsea's central midfield options only he can.
The bellow graphic shows the way Lampard peppered the Hull goal and got into the box, having more shots than any other player on the pitch, however there are two set pieces in there via his free-kick and penalty.
Lampard is continuing the excellent form he showed in early 2013, and with the guidance of Jose Mourinho it is hard to bet against him continuing to stay vital to the side as he gets older, and Ramires is key to helping him do that.
Chelsea fans are you happy with the duo? Can they get better under Mourinho?
image: © Live4Soccer