Ahead of a crunch fixture at Upton Park this weekend, Chelsea have started to rediscover their mojo.

Although they had to settle for a goalless draw in Ukraine against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League, it was their second clean sheet on the trot – a sign that determination is finally replacing hesitation.

More importantly, Eden Hazard, Diego Costa, Nemanja Matic, Gary Cahill, Ramires and John Terry all showed improvements in form and confidence in advance of the Blues’ final league visit to the Hammers’ old ground before the switch to the Olympic stadium.

Willian hit the bar, Hazard hit the post and Cesc Fabregas could consider himself unlucky not to be awarded a penalty when he was comprehensively tripped and flattened in the box.

But overall Jose Mourinho was happy with the polished passing, pace and power on show, even if an attempted post-match dig at Arsene Wenger by calling Tuesday night’s Slovenian referee “weak and naive” fell as flat as an unassembled Ikea wardrobe.

Fabregas was given a more advanced role in Ukraine, and it suited him well, although the biggest plaudits go to Matic, who dominated midfield and carved out one of the best chances on the night, weaving through the Kiev defence in a direct assault on goal.

West Ham have been stoking up Saturday’s derby by defiantly crowing that on current form (they lie fourth while Chelsea are 12th) they expect to beat the Blues… but the midweek performance will have given Slaven Bilic’s boys pause for thought.

Mourinho has been trying to snap his players out of their collective early-season trance with a mixture of cajoling and criticising.

“It is not a moment to moan or be selfish about themselves,” he said after last weekend’s workmanlike 2-0 defeat of Aston Villa at the Bridge.

Victory at Upton Park could finally propel Chelsea back into the top half of the table.