On the opening day of the season at Old Trafford, Chelsea were taught some harsh lessons by a Manchester United side that with the summer additions of Daniel James, Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, had appeared to turn a corner under Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
The 4-0 defeat to the Red Devils showed many improvements required by a young Chelsea led by Frank Lampard. Not just missing key players due to injury, but also a side that needed to be more clinical in front of goal, something that United had no issues back in August.
Since then however, the differences between the two sides have been quite stark to say the least.
Despite not being perfect in recent games, the Blues are starting to show signs of improvement by slowly ironing out their mistakes. Tammy Abraham has shown why Lampard has put so much faith in him as the main striker in the starting line-up – with seven goals in six league games – including an impressive hat-trick at Molineux against Wolverhampton Wanderers. That trio of goals alone showed the clinical edge, in front of goal, that has been missing from the Blues’ forward line in recent seasons.
Impressive performances and contributions also from midfielders Mason Mount and Jorginho have also strengthened the faith that Lampard has finally found the right way forward.
Injuries are still a concern at the club with many players either missing or carrying knocks, but with the return of N’Golo Kanté, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James, along with Antonio Rüdiger and Emerson expected back soon, the injured list finally appears to be dwindling.
United, on the other hand have struggled. League defeats to Crystal Palace and West Ham United due to poor performances, coupled with scrapping past beating League One side Rochdale on penalties to seal a place in the Fourth Round, has shown not everything is rosy in the red half of Manchester.
Now, a good run of form can change everything, but going in to the game at Stamford Bridge at the end of next month, it is Chelsea who are most buoyant and surely will be favourites to progress to the last eight of the competition.
What are your thoughts on how Chelsea have developed as a team since the opening day defeat to Manchester United? Let us know via our official Twitter
You can hear more discussion and opinion from Mikey on his podcast At The Bridge Pod: A Chelsea FC Podcast below