“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” goes the Chinese proverb – and this was step one in the rehabilitation of Chelsea.
While it was never mission critical that Antonio Conte's Blues won their first competitive match under his guidance, it will have done no harm whatsoever that they did.
And the method by which they did it will also have helped: a competent, if sometimes hesitant display, with a late tactical switch bringing an even later winner.
Just as draws can sometimes feel like either wins or defeats, victories themselves can sometimes feel hollow – and this was anything but.
Slaven Bilic, in his usual no-nonsense way, admitted post match that Chelsea were the better team here – and you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone to disagree.
But, for all the dominance they showed in the first half, their performance was lacking a certain killer instinct to pull the whole thing together.
They writhed and pulsated, like a beard of bees – only without the accompanying sting.
Their visitors, meanwhile, looked like they had come with a simple game plan: shut-out the hosts until such a time as the benched Dimitri Payet had enough fitness in his legs to carry things over the line.
That plan was spoiled by Michail Antonio - who recklessly slid across Cesar Azpilicueta from behind, just moments after the break.
Penalty to Chelsea: and Eden Hazard made sure everyone knew it was his turn to take it.
Straight down the middle it went, and into the roof of the net too; while Conte hit a roof of his own from the sidelines.
Had things finished like that, there would have been few complaints; but a twist in the tale ensured we learned a bit more from this match, and about Conte in particular.
When James Collins uncharacteristically rifled in an equaliser, the game was set-up for a fine finish.
The point would probably have done for Chelsea from the outset, but coming from such a superior position it would now have felt like defeat.
The social media barometer, in that one swipe, switched from 'potential contenders' to 'mid table strugglers'.
But here we saw two differences from last season: Chelsea's head coach chased the game, like neither of his immediate predecessors had managed; and his players showed the desire to do just that, like few had demonstrated for almost a year.
In a game that had possessed more than a bit of old school physicality – not quite the Battle of The Bridge of May's Tottenham clash, but not far behind – we got a proper jumpers-for-goalposts ploy from Conte to cross the tape.
Switching to 4-2-4, with the immediately creative Victor Moses joining the raw movement of Michy Batshuayi in the forward mix, Hammers were again thrown onto the back foot.
Costa's winner, in the dying moments of the 90, ensured he should make headlines for the right reasons – though he had help from Bilic, who refused to rise to the bait of questions asked about the Spaniard's earlier tardy challenge on keeper Adrian.
Stamford Bridge celebrated like little seen since John Terry's 98th minute goal 'won' that 3-3 draw with Everton back in January.
And Conte, again, went crazy.
There were many other positives here: Eden Hazard and Diego Costa showing more fitness and form than we saw in the first half of last season; the defence as a unit performing mostly very well, and Branislav Ivanovic going forward with gusto.
There was also the addition of N'Golo Kante, who put a real shift in, connecting with 54 of 57 passes: already looking like a crucial acquisition for Conte.
But the team felt like it was playing on more than mere ability – with evidence of a little of the swagger of old returning.
On full time a rare treat, barely seen last term: the playing of terrace favourite 'One Step Beyond'.
Too much, too soon? Perhaps, but why stand in the way of joy so lacking of late.
Step one – accomplished. Only another 37 to go on the road to redemption.