The Blues struggled to overcome Bolton 2-1 in the League Cup on Wednesday night.
Central defender Kurt Zouma scored the opening goal on his full debut, with Oscar securing the victory in the second half with a long range drive.
However, their goals were interjected by a Matt Mills equaliser, netting one of Bolton’s two shots on target, with a powerful header from a well worked free-kick.
The goal was the ninth conceded in seven games this season for the usually miserly Blues, and it prevented Petr Cech from extending his clean-sheet record for the club in his first competitive appearance this season.
Despite dominating the play, registering 10 shots on target to the Trotters two, shades of last-season Chelsea were on show, with the club unable to turn their dominance into goals - something that has not dogged them this campaign.
Yet, they came out with the victory, securing their place in the last-16 of the tournament, with a fourth round tie against Shrewsbury Town to come next.
Speaking to reporters after the game, assistant coach Steve Holland, taking media duties in the place of Jose Mourinho, expressed his pleasure at the result.
Quoted on chelseafc.com, the coach said: "We are very happy with the performance.
"You hope motivation isn’t a problem but it can be sometimes. The players’ mentality was excellent right from the kick-off. Their approach and quality was very good. At half-time we said we couldn’t ask for much more apart from a little detail in the two penalty boxes.”
However, he did express disappointment at the Blues usually solid defensive play, with the Trotters equalising from a free-kick that found its target too easily.
"We had a bit of an issue with height from set-plays and every time Bolton had a free-kick or corner that was a worry,” he added.
"That provided their equaliser from I think the first time the ball was in our box after about 30 minutes. Then the combination of some missed chances and a bit of bad luck and some very good goalkeeping meant we were still on the limit right at the end of the game.
"The Bolton goal was a ball hit in with pace and a very good header. In our team tonight we didn’t have the physical stature we normally have in the Premier League and in the Championship there are a lot of goals scored from set-plays. It was a concern.”
Whilst the Blues more expansive style of football is a joy to watch this season, it has certainly made life harder upon the defensive line. If goals continue to flow against the West Londoner’s, it may not be too long before Jose Mourinho decides to ‘park the bus’ once again.