After years of dominating British football, a period which stretched from the 1990s to yesteryear and reaped 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies, Manchester United are seemingly now coming unstuck.
With hindsight, there are those who claim it was to be expected. Sir Alex Ferguson's tenure lasted 27 exceptional years and the transition from his reign, to David Moyes' may require a number of seasons before it can fully be scrutinised, particularly when the latter has inherited a squad that requires much work, many signings and replacements.
None of that matters to their opponents, though, who are reveling in winning against a club who were once tough to even get a goal against, let alone maximum points - something that happened for the seventh time on Sunday, January 19, when a Samuel Eto'o hat-trick defeated United, downing their last, faint title retention hope and even put a dimmer on their top four dreams.
In season's past, it was United who, regardless of whether they were home or away, would go out and slay their opposite numbers to secure a glorious victory but, now, the boot is on the other foot.
Chelsea centre back and club captain John Terry has more, as reported by Sky Sports: 'At times we have struggled over the years and Man United have come here and really given us a bit of a pasting. They're not playing the greatest at the moment and it was important we did the same to them today.'
Considering who United have suffered losses to this season: Liverpool, Manchester City, West Bromwich Albion, Everton, Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Swansea City and Sunderland in the League Cup, there will now be those who will be confident they can add a win to their ledger when faced with the task of taking on United.
Who will be next to do to United what they once had did to them? David Moyes will be hoping his side can reverse a 2-1 deficit against Sunderland when the League Cup semifinal concludes on Wednesday evening, before Premier League competition resumes with a home clash against Cardiff City, a trip to Stoke City, Fulham at home, before Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
image: © jorge-11