No disrespect to West Brom, Leicester, Palace and Sunderland, but this weekend sees the first of a quick-fire brace of fixtures – against United and Arsenal – that Chelsea fans view as pivotal to gaining a fifth top-flight title.

The Red Devils visit Stamford Bridge on a roll after last Sunday’s win against City. Meanwhile, the Blues are grinding out victories while looking slightly dazed... and not just from a Loftus Road missile shower after their own derby win.

The late winner at QPR, scored by the Batman-masked Cesc Fabregas, was cruel on the Hoops, who had matched Chelsea stride for stride, and exceeded them in the chance-creation department.

Jose Mourinho, sporting a smart haircut, minimised the hail of objects, saying £1 coins should be pocketed and chocolates eaten. Presumably Branislav Ivanovic, thwacked by a lighter, should relax and enjoy a cigar.

Jose conceded that good fortune had been Chelsea’s after Rangers’ gutsy pressing had made the previous week’s bruising encounter with Stoke look like a visit from the WI.

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Chelsea were not allowed to settle, with any perceived wusses (Willian, Eden Hazard and Ramires) singled out for special attention.

The Blues' current weakness is up front, with Diego Costa out for another fortnight and Loic Remy 50-50 with a calf injury, leaving Didier Drogba looking like a spritely OAP, with Izzy Brown, his teenage shadow and youth team captain, in reserve.

Brown sat on the bench at Loftus Road, with youth manager Adi Viveash praying he would not be needed.

The 18-year-old flew straight to Switzerland, where he scored twice in the following day's U19 UEFA Youth League final in Switzerland against Shakhtar Donetsk, helping the Blues lift the trophy.

“Jose is the master,” admitted Rs gaffer Chris Ramsey afterwards.

“They had one chance and they scored it; that’s why they’ll probably win the league.”