Chelsea suffered a first home league defeat since September as an eventful second half at Stamford Bridge saw visitors Brentford score four times to secure a long-awaited win in SW6.
The Bees’ last victory at the Bridge came six months before the start of the Second World War and so this provided a significant shot in the arm for their hopes of retaining Premier League status, while for the Blues it proved their heaviest loss since a 5-2 home reverse to West Brom almost a year ago to the day.
The first period was tentative and quiet, even if Brentford did have the best of the play and threatened occasionally through Ivan Toney. Edouard Mendy pulled off one impressive save down low to his right, while David Raya in the opposite goal had to be similarly alert when pushing over a Hakim Ziyech effort late in the half.
Yet it was after the break that this game burst into life, initiated by the most unlikeliest of long-range goals scored by Antonio Rudiger, the German’s strike whistling past Raya and in off the post.
That was followed by a similarly incomprehensible turnaround as Brentford scored three in the next 13 minutes. Vitaly Janelt got two of those either side of Christian Eriksen’s smart close-range finish and the damage was compounded moments before the end when substitute Yoan Wissa made it 4-1 by capitalising on mistakes in the Blues box.
The result leaves Thomas Tuchel’s side eight points clear of fifth place in the Premier League but brings their 17-game unbeaten home run to a crushing end.