The pressure is on Chelsea manager Frank Lampard after his expensively assembled team fell to eighth place in the Premier League in a 2-0 defeat to Leicester City.
Lampard conceded that Leicester, who went top of the table, were simply the better side and there was little in his team's performance, their fifth loss in eight games, that indicates the west London side are progressing.
"We were beaten by the better team. They were sharper than us, ran more than us and they looked in form - we looked out of form," was his blunt assessment.
Too often against Leicester there was a lack of intensity about Chelsea's play.
There was also a worrying lack of attentiveness with fullback Reece James jogging back and failing to stick with James Maddison before the Leicester midfielder scored the second goal.
Maddison said the first goal had come from a short corner routine, practiced in training in the knowledge that Chelsea have a tendency to switch off at set-pieces.
Lampard said: "It is a period we are not happy with, other clubs have been in that period. All we can think about is getting through it, working hard. The important thing is the players bounce back. This is the cut-throat nature of what it is."
Chelsea's hierarchy are not known for showing great patience with managers and questions will intensify about whether the club's popular former midfielder is the right man for the job.
his "I took this job knowing we would have difficult times. We just have to fight. Where everything was rosy in mid-December, it isn't so rosy now. I am good at handling pressure," he said.
In the only other top league game overnight, West Ham manager David Moyes insisted it is too early to dream of a place in Europe after the Hammers extended their hot streak with a 2-1 victory that pushed West Bromwich Albion deeper into relegation trouble.
Moyes' in-form side took the lead through Jarrod Bowen's first-half goal at the London Stadium.
Matheus Pereira equalised for West Brom after the break, but Michail Antonio's clinical finish sealed West Ham's fourth successive victory in all competitions.