The hangover is always the worst.
On Wednesday, we made a bit like Icarus. We flew high on the wings of Eden Hazard. We drank the heavenly mana dripping from every waggle. We popped champagne with every dip of the shoulder. We flapped our wings while flapping our gums with delusions of grandeur. Saturday came and we flew higher and higher and higher...
"After half an hour we should have been winning 3-0..."
"...and we weren't."
I hate hangovers.
It's not a new script of course, both in detail (conceding 'basic' goals once again; plus a wondergoal for good measure that still needed a stupid turnover and a horrible offside trap and one-on-one defending) and in overall theme. Not making chances count and giving belief to an inferior team playing in front of a fervent home crowd? That's the remake of a remake of a reboot of a remake.
"When you play so well and it's so easy, you find spaces and the three players behind the striker, Hazard, Mata and Schurrle, are playing so well and creating so much, you have to kill the game. Normally you kill the game but we didn't."
"...we have to kill opponents when they are there to be killed."
You may have seen some outlets run with Mourinho's "we're in trouble" quote to try to paint a larger picture of panic. The BBC is the least offensive of such offenders, yet I'm sure you won't be surprised to learn that he did not say it in that sort of context; he was simply referring to being our own worst enemy with missed chances and hilarious set piece defending.
"...we didn't score enough goals. On top of that we made defensive mistakes and conceded. If you don't score a lot of goals but you don't make defensive mistakes you can win with just one goal."
"The problem was we didn't score goals and we conceded a goal which was obviously a mistake. The third goal came in a period where we wanted to win and they didn't want to lose, and these kind of situations can happen."
While it sucks to be throwing away valuable points with self-inflicted wounds - and it's going to feel even worse if Arsenal open up a seven-point gap on Sunday - we should be mindful of the baby in the bath water. Chelsea are playing some of their best football at one end and having some of their worst moments at the other. One of those is probably far more sustainable than the other, so we should not lose sight of the process, for the process is good.
We now have three matches to get over all the derps. In two weeks, when we visit Arsenal at the Emirates, we will need to ensure that we marry a good result with our good process. We have Steaua (H) in the Champions League, Crystal Palace (H) in the Premier League, and Sunderland (A) in the League Cup to set ourselves for the crucial Christmas period, most likely the make-or-break time for any serious title challenge.
And so here we are, having come back down to earth. The view is not quite as nice from here as from up on high on Hazard Air, but it's not all bad. At least I figured out how to cure my hangover: drink more!