West Bromwich Albion 1 Chelsea 2
Jose Mourinho did not know what day it was. For this fixture on Saturday March 4, he decided to fill in "March 5" on the official teamsheet. Mourinho got most things wrong at The Hawthorns two days ago - except, of course, the result. He always seems to get that right.
This was a belligerent affair in which the Chelsea manager, all grey hair and artificial composure, some-how became the centre of attention.
With his curious antics, he did not endear himself to the West Bromwich Albion supporters, or indeed, their manager, but he was purring like a cat by the time he walked on to the Chelsea team bus.
Yet this was a match where logic, not to mention friendship, went out of the window.
Albion lost 2-1 but deserved a draw, Arjen Robben was sent off but deserved to stay on the pitch, and, just before the end, the stewards formed a line in the middle of the dug-outs to ensure that the enmity did not spill over into all-out war. Didier Drogba sparked jeers from the Albion fans for lying on the ground - apparently in pain - and Chelsea turned up late for the second half.
But at least they did turn up. Mourinho did not bother with the post-match press conference, presumably to avoid questions about his attitude.
Drogba opened the scoring for Chelsea in the 51st minute, Robben was shown a straight red card for fouling Jonathan Greening in the 62nd minute, and Joe Cole increased the lead in the 74th minute.
Nwankwo Kanu pulled a goal back for Albion with two minutes remaining but the late onslaught did not force an equaliser. Bryan Robson, the Albion manager, could not conceal his pain or his colourful use of the English language but he has at least created a team that can make life difficult for the likes of Chelsea.
Whether that will be enough to avoid relegation remains to be seen.
Albion played well in the first half, with Curtis Davies assured at the back, Greening busy on the right of mid-field, and Diomansy Kamara lively in what appeared to be a free role. Jan Kozak, starting an Albion match for the first time, seemed to sum up the class within the team. But performing that way for 45 minutes and for 90 minutes are not the same thing.
Albion contributed to their own downfall by allowing Chelsea to score two soft goals.
You cannot do that against anyone in the Premiership, never mind one of the top five teams in the world, but Albion foolishly decided to see what would happen if they did let their standards slip.
"Mourinho didn't wind me up," Robson said, twisting his face into a smile. "But my own team wound me up."
Drogba's goal, with a low, right-footed shot, beat Tomasz Kuszczak at the near post. Cole's strike seemed to take a deflection before spinning into the goal. Albion only have themselves to blame.
Kanu, a substitute for Kevin Campbell, scored with a fine half-volley from Robin-son's deflected cross from the left but Albion did not look like equalising after that.
A shame that this match left a nasty taste in the mouth because the pre-match minute's silence - for Peter Osgood, the former Chelsea striker, and for Scott Poll, aged 17, a former club employee - was observed in touching fashion.
The only consolation for Robson was that Birmingham City, now their chief rivals in the battle to finish in 17th position, lost away to Middlesbrough. Albion and Birmingham meet at St Andrew's on Saturday and the outcome will be significant.
But Albion need to help themselves more often. Real-istically, they need 14 points to survive in the Premiership this season. Those points are there for the taking - particularly when they play Newcastle United, West Ham United and Everton.
If Albion do endure relegation they will not rue the defeat to Chelsea; they will rue the defeats to Sunderland, to West Ham United and to Portsmouth.
This is a better Albion team than the one that survived last May. How ironic - and cruel - it would be if they were relegated this season with more points than were required to survive a year ago.
Not that Mourinho will care about that. He will have claimed his second Premier-ship title by then - and will have acquired more grey hairs and more enemies.