It has been years since Chelsea legitimately scared the rest of Europe's top sides. That's not to say it's been years since we've been able to beat the rest of Europe's top sides, but it's always been reactive, defend-and-counter stuff rather than being able to simply go after them. But now, says, Jose Mourinho, things might be a little bit different.
I don’t remember Chelsea playing in this way away from home. Obviously there have been some great victories away from home - with me, with other managers - but this was very impressive, very complete. The reality is tonight any team that played against us would find it very difficult because the players were fantastic.
Everything the players do is with big focus and ambition but at the same time with this component of happiness, of flair, of beauty. We are very happy because at the moment we are having good results and at the same time we are playing really, really well.
Yes, it's only Schalke, and no, we shouldn't expect this level of performance every match. But slowly, surely, Chelsea are turning from rank outsiders in the Champions League to a team that absolutely nobody would be comfortable facing. We won this competition three seasons ago with a miracle run, and while I'm certainly not going to take away from any underdog story, it's somewhat less stressful knowing that we'll go into any knockout round tie with a certain amount of swagger.
There will surely come a time when watching football is less fun -- the Ancelottian bad moment, if you like. But until that time comes, enjoy. We're one of football's elite sides at present, and it's hard to think of anything more satisfying than that. Until trophy season rolls around, of course ...