A midweek clean sheet and four Champions League goals was just the tonic for beleaguered Chelsea.

After a dismal start to the domestic season, the 4-0 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv on Wednesday night was cheered to the rafters at Stamford Bridge.

The fact that Arsenal, United and City all lost made the win even sweeter.

But there’s still Arsenal’s lunchtime Premier League visit this weekend, with an acceptance that the four midweek goals were scored against a team destined to be the group whipping boys.

So what do Chelsea lack this season that they had in abundance last? Arguably, hunger.

The craving for success that propelled the Blues to the title in May with three games to spare is no longer detectable.

It has been replaced by the kind of smugness that can afflict any team which starts to believe the hype… a mindset in which merely turning up deserves some reward.

That tag “champions” is proving a millstone. When Chelsea should be focusing on this season, the squad still seems to celebrating the last.

When a team is underperforming like Chelsea, every opponent in every division fancies their chances. There’s a feeling that Jose Mourinho should be throwing teacups rather than blaming referees, lady luck and medical staff for recent failings, but fans are remaining loyal. They serenaded the Special One at regular intervals in midweek.

The Blues’ fragility was summed up in the fifth minute of against Maccabi, when Willian was upended in the box and a penalty was awarded. The once-reliable Eden Hazard fired well over the crossbar.

As if to illustrate that fate is against him, Jose picked up a water bottle, only for it to split open and shower him in liquid.

But Chelsea stuck to their game plan, and were comfortable winners with goals from Willian, Oscar, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas.

More of the same is needed against the Gunners this weekend.