Chelsea played host to Nottingham Forest in the League Cup third round. 20th September 2017 also happened to be the 13th anniversary of the passing of Forest icon Brian Clough, who had, along with assistant Peter Taylor, led them to back-to-back European cups in 1979 and 1980.

Forest also won their first and only Division 1 league title with Clough, as well as four League Cup trophies – only one less than their London-based hosts. […]

It was the perfect storm. The premier league champions had lost their first game of the season to Burnley FC, who’d barely avoided relegation last season. They also had four starters out to suspension and injury, and their next game was an away derby against Tottenham. Their manager had signed a new contract on increased wages, but ominously, no extension.

Ex-Chelsea players Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic, Kevin de Bruyne and Mo Salah were showing themselves to be among the best players in their respective positions in the premier league – playing for Chelsea’s title rivals.

And want-away striker Diego Costa sat above the entire dismal mess, firing furious demands and accusations at his club from a distance, like thunderbolts from some angry Azteca god. […]