Fans walked back to Fulham Broadway on Wednesday night with a spring in their step after a well-earned 2-0 victory over Porto in the Champions League.

It went some way to wiping away the pain of defeat by Bournemouth four days earlier… the first time the Blues had failed to score in the league at the Bridge in 18 months.

It also gave a glimmer of hope that Monday’s visit to soaraway Leicester City might not be as one-sided as many predict.

Chelsea were altogether grittier, hungrier and pacier against Porto than against Bournemouth.

The difference? Well, Ramires and John Terry were back from injury, and Diego Costa was passionate without being a liability when it comes to self-control.

Jose Mourinho was pleased with the performance, but that was nothing to the delight in Roman Abramovich’s VIP box, where the dancing suggests he’s rather enjoying this peculiar season.

Last weekend’s 1-0 defeat by the Cherries marked a real low point, coming in the wake of the draw at White Hart Lane.

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It seemed to be one step forward and two back for the underperforming team as the Blues failed to capitalise on a string of other results that would have seen them move back towards respectability.

Chelsea remain in a parlous position, just a couple of points above the drop zone.

But a few more performances like Wednesday night’s and everything will start to look a lot better.

Jose’s conundrum is how to carry over that midweek confidence to Monday night’s expedition to face the Foxes.

Although Eden Hazard and Costa again failed to score in the European tie, there was another goal for the club’s unexpected top marksman Willian – a real beaut, unleashed on the gallop with exquisite accuracy.

And there was yet another own goal. If the Blues’ opponents can keep up the current rate of welcome gifts, Chelsea could still mount an unlikely challenge on the league leaders.