On noting that Frank Lampard was on the bench, Fernando Torres might have felt relief that the midfielder's fortunes under André Villas-Boas were starting to overtake his own as the No1 Chelsea sideshow.
That was before what Torres was about to receive in a match that pitted one José Mourinho managerial disciple (Villas-Boas) against another, Swansea City's Brendan Rodgers.
Regarding Lampard, the jury is out on whether he was rested ahead of Wednesday's Champions League trip to Valencia, or dropped for the (presumably) more dynamic Raul Meireles, chosen instead of the 33-year-old who saw another rival, Ramires, score twice.
Villas-Boas stated that the two hours played by Chelsea in their Carling Cup third-round penalty shoot-out win against Fulham on Wednesday caused him to make nine changes against Swansea, and Lampard was merely one of these. Yet the midfielder started that tie on the bench; a more instructive insight into the manager's view of the 33-year-old might be found in his removal at half-time in the 3-1 defeat at Manchester United last weekend.
While the team-sheet for Valencia will be a fascinating read to see if Lampard features in Chelsea's toughest outing in the group stage, the opening half here featured a near-anonymous Swansea, and the good, the bad and the ugly from Torres, who continues to wake from his unwanted slumber only to find the sporting gods are still toying with him.
On balance, he will probably take the red card he received from Mike Dean 10 minutes before half-time in payment for having earlier increased his tally to three for Chelsea since the £50m move from Liverpool to west London in January. But he seems to be working off some particularly heavy karma.
For the 27-year-old, the bad arrived after 20 minutes, when he fashioned another of those moments that seem to bemuse him as well as any spectator.
On the edge of the visitors' area, the striker looked up and appeared ready to shoot or flip in a pass. But, instead, hesitation was followed by a meander back towards his own goal and, when he was dispossessed, the concession of a soft foul that came laced with frustration.
If this suggested Torres was about to disappoint, what unfolded was more complex. Just before the half-hour, Juan Mata saw the Spaniard's clever left-to-right run inside the City area and dinked the ball into him; a chest-down, a swivel, then a sweet finish into the corner followed, and that was two in two games, following his strike at United last Sunday.
If this was the good (or very good), Torres followed with more of the same, precipitating the move that ended in Ramires scoring Chelsea's second.
Having dropped inside his own half, Torres found Ashley Cole, the left-back crept forward, then slid the ball across midfield to the Brazilian. His shot was struck well, but passed under keeper Michel Vorm .
Torres was flying. But now came the ugly. Near halfway, Torres launched both boots at Mark Gower and made contact. Out came Dean's red card, and off Torres marched, head down.
Villas-Boas described the sending-off as a "pity". He added: "There is nothing [for Torres] to apologise for. The sending-off, I have nothing to say, it looks a good decision by the referee."
Swansea's manager, Brendan Rodgers, who was formerly on the staff as a coach at Stamford Bridge, said that Torres's poor start to his Chelsea career may be causing him to be over-enthusiastic: "I don't think he's a malicious player. He probably feels it's there to be won and he's trying to show his intention at the moment that he's fighting for everything."
Ramires sealed the points by dancing past Ashley Williams – who added a late consolation for Swansea – and finishing. Then Didier Drogba, on for the first time since being knocked out against Norwich City a month ago, made it four.