Aston Villa manager David O'Leary was left cursing the loss of his first-choice strike pair on more than one front at Stamford Bridge.
On the one hand, O'Leary was rewarded for his surprise inclusion of Luke Moore when the young striker became the first opponent to find the back of Chelsea's net this season.
But, on a day when he was without both Milan Baros and Kevin Phillips, Villa's chance of causing an upset by handing the champions their first defeat in almost a year was undone by Moore's strike partner Juan Pablo Angel.
Quite apart from miscuing with the one chance he had to claim his first goal of the season, Angel was the guilty party in Chelsea's instant equaliser.
The Colombian striker unaccountably shuffled out of position in Villa's defensive wall, creating the gap through which allowing Frank Lampard threaded his free-kick. And it left O'Leary shaking his head with frustration.
"If you're going to come here and get a result," said O'Leary, "you don't give cheap goals away. I'm annoyed that we put up a bad wall. You can't do those type of things against the big teams.
"It was vital to go in at half-time saying we were one up. It would have been nice to have gone in asking them the question. But it was a poor wall and we've given them a soft goal back."
O'Leary was supportive enough of Angel not to point a public finger. But the Villa boss was still smarting sufficiently to register his general displeasure at the sort of brainstorms that can occur when his players have left the dressing room.
"You can practise, you can organise, you can train them right, you can put the right food and drink into them," he said, "but, when they cross those white lines, you're in the players' hands.
"I remember before we played Bolton in the first game of the season, we spent all week on the training game practising how to deal with balls coming in. I was even waking up in the middle of the night imagining that I was still heading balls away.
"Then what happens? In the first ten minutes we give away two goals from set plays. That sort of thing absolutely kills you."
With a booking to his name, it clearly was not Angel's afternoon. And that only left O'Leary pining even more for Baros and Phillips.
Baros did not even travel to the capital after being forced out with an Achilles tendon injury, while Phillips is unlikely to be fit until after the next international break after a calf-muscle pull. And, with his first real admission that they are now his first choice selections up front, O'Leary agreed their absence was crucial.
"You want your full Monty out there," he said. "If we'd had Phillips and Baros, then maybe it might have proved our day. They're good players for us and we're a better side when they're in the team.
"I'd have loved to have Baros and Phillips here, but I just try and make the best with what I've got.
"The only satisfaction is that we came here to give them a game, and we've done that.
"l like seeing Jose Mourinho get agitated like that.
"I like him as a man and I admire him. But I like taking Jose on. I like coming to the big places and trying to do what I can. And one day I might get some more money and I'll really come after him.
"My agenda is totally different to Chelsea. But we still came here looking to get a result. And I hope people don't start coming here with too defensive an attitude.
"I believed in a certain way of playing at Leeds, when I was getting to a Champions League semi final and Jose was getting to the final. And I still do now.
"I'm not a cavalier, just going for it gung-ho. But if they're going to be beaten here, you have to defend, concentrate right and be brave enough to take them on."