BASEL stunned Jose Mourinho on his return to Champions League action at Chelsea – grabbing two second half goals to punish a below-par display.
The last time Mourinho oversaw a Chelsea fixture in the competition six years ago, it was to be his last game in charge of the Blues first time around – a dire 1-1 draw against Norwegians Rosenborg in front of only 25,000 fans.
He could hardly have expected it to be any worse this time around, but it was. It was Chelsea's first group stage home defeat since Besiktas won here in October 2003 under Claudio Ranieri.
The Blues could not have too many complaints. They were fortunate to take the lead during the dying embers of a soporific first half and although they improved after the break, they did not do enough to stave off an unexpected early setback in their quest to repeat the great run of 2012.
Basel had never won in England, despite having eliminated both Man United and Spurs in European competition in recent years and were expected to offer a gentle return to the hotseat for Mourinho in front of the watching Roman Abramovich.
There was no real hint of impending calamity at the start of the second half when Oscar, who had scored just before the break, sent a beautiful curling effort against the bar, then set up Eden Hazard for a shot just over after a cleverly disguised pass to the left edge of the area.
And the mood in the stands became noticeably more enthused when Juan Mata came on for quiet debutant Willian to add some desperately needed creativity to a mostly drab affair.
Yet it was the Swiss who scored next to enliven proceedings – Mohamed Salah's tidy 71st minute finish completing a slick one-touch move involving Behrang Safari and Basel skipper Marco Streller.
Salah also netted at the Bridge last season when the sides met in the Europa League semi-finals, but ended on the losing side that day.
That prompted a double substitution from Mourinho, with John Obi Mikel and Demba Ba coming on for Frank Lampard and Marco van Ginkel.
But there was more painn to come for the Blues on 82 minutes when Streller got in front of Eto'o to nod home a Matias Delgado corner at the near post - and it was enough to give his side a famous win.
A little explosion of class broke the deadlock in the last attack of a dire first half. David Luiz marauded forward to give Lampard possession and the Chelsea skipper's ball in behind the defence gave Oscar a sighter of goal that he did not pass up – his angled shot beating keeper Yann Sommer's right hand.
It looked as though it would kick-start the Blues, but it proved to be far from the case.
Perhaps the only winner tonight was Fernando Torres, who missed this let down. Samuel Eto'o made his home debut with Willian making his first appearance, but neither player did much.
Torres was a man inspired in Europe last season, and scored in a 3-1 win against Basel, but is still not making an unanswerable case for inclusion. He may stand a better chance after this.
Line up: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, David Luiz, Cole; van Ginkel (Mikel 75), Lampard (Ba 76); Willian (Mata 67), Oscar, Hazard; Eto'o. Subs not used: Schwarzer, De Bruyne, Terry, Azpilicueta.