Chelsea were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw by Schalke at Stamford Bridge in their opening game of this season’s UEFA Champions League.
Jose Mourinho’s side prevailed 3-0 against the same opponents both at home and away in the 2013-14 competition and went into Wednesday’s Group G clash in great heart after four straight Premier League wins.
In contrast, Schalke had made their worst start to a Bundesliga campaign for 46 years, picking up just one point from their first three fixtures.
There seemed little chance of the formbook being turned upside down when Cesc Fabregas struck early on following good work from the ever-lively Eden Hazard.
However, with Diego Costa, scorer of seven of their 15 domestic goals so far this term, warming the bench, Chelsea failed to kick on and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar levelled just after an hour.
Costa was introduced for the final 20 minutes, but not even his presence could not help the hosts break down Schalke’s stubborn resistance for a second time.