There's plenty of...well, not particularly complimentary words about Arjen Robben in the morning Mailbox, but some sensible voices recognise that's not an excuse...
Whether this Barcelona side are on their way out is up for debate, but Manchester City can certainly take advantage, but only with a swing and a swagger...
In his post-match press conference, Jose Mourinho stumbled a little over what Chelsea require to reach the knock-out stages of the Champions League. They are not quite there yet, he discovered, but after completing the double over Schalke they will be soon enough, despite the shock of that opening defeat at Stamford Bridge to Basel. A point away to the Swiss side or one at home to Steaua Bucharest will suffice, and victory against either will make Chelsea group winners.
Still, 24 hours after writing that Manchester City hadn't really achieved that much by making the last 16, much the same message needs to be said about this southern set of billionaire's Blues for having qualification within easy reach. Yes, they have dug themselves out of a hole but they should not, in effect, receive credit for having dropped themselves in one in the first place.
Being seeded in the Champions League is usually a pretty cushy number; Chelsea's 2012-13 achievement of not qualifying for the knock-out stages as holders was unique, but it is unusual not to make it through if you are in pot 1 for the draw regardless of how you did the year before. Manchester United and Porto both failed in 2011-12; Liverpool did so in 2009-10; but no one else has done so in the past six years. And usually when someone fails you can pinpoint an awkward draw - as Juventus were for Chelsea a year ago, a team whose European record had been hit by circumstances but were resurgent. This time, Basel and Steaua are weak opponents and Schalke are hardly shining in the Bundesliga, sixth but with a negative goal difference.
Yet Schalke made the Blues labour at Stamford Bridge until all their good work was undone by Timo Hildebrand's moment of hesitation and Samuel Eto'o's persistence. Mourinho got a response after the defeat at Newcastle and it's a pleasure to see Eto'o make an impression for an English club, but you can bet the Portuguese is not going overboard even as he works to foster a sense of optimism around his return.
Chelsea and Arsenal both have nine points from four matches - but there is no doubt that it is the north London club who have the more impressive achievements thus far and we should not buy in to the spin coming out of Stamford Bridge as Chelsea recover from their Basel embarrassment.