Hold your horses (video)

As the dust settled in Donetsk after an insipid Chelsea performance, uncertainty over the true strength of Roberto Di Matteo’s team began to creep out.

Contrary to last season’s backs-to-the-wall, uber-defensive approach that drew endemic malignment throughout the football world, Chelsea have actually demonstrated some excellent football this season and found themselves 4 points ahead of their Mancunian rivals after 8 games.

But Shakhtar Donetsk, a superstar team they are not, dismantled the Premier League leaders with relative ease and exposed a side to Chelsea which many had thought (hoped) was history. The defeat in Ukraine is not Chelsea’s first embarrassing defeat this season, nor have they really been tested by a top class team yet.

Sure, victories at The Emirates and White Hart Lane are not to be sniffed at, but it’s important to consider the nature of both games before getting carried away with this new look Chelsea team. The win over Arsenal was in no way comprehensive with the spoils quite easily have gone the other way, while Gareth Bale’s late departure left Spurs with no game plan or balance.

Last night’s defeat in Ukraine serves as a reminder that this Chelsea side are yet to be tested and suggests they may even be holding a false position at the summit of the Premier League. They were handed the gift of avoiding Gareth Bale and Moussa Dembele against Tottenham, but Sunday’s blockbuster game with Manchester United will give more of an idea of Chelsea’s title credentials.