For large parts of an enthralling afternoon in the capital, Tottenham were entirely recognisable.
They played some very good football, they ran hard in that endlessly energetic and athletic way of theirs and they enjoyed the kind of superiority of possession that few teams ever will against the English champions.
But when and where it mattered Mauricio Pochettino's team were not themselves at all. They failed to take their chances and then contributed the kind of late errors that will lose many a football match if they were to be repeated.
What is it with Harry Kane in August? He's not scored a league goal in the month for three years
Thibaut Courtois breathes a sigh of relief as he watches Kane's shot cannon off the post
Last season, Tottenham were predictable in the very best way. They were imperious at White Hart Lane and stuck to the template drawn up by the meticulous Pochettino with the kind of fevered determination and intelligence that marks out the top teams. Here at Wembley, though, they couldn't do it.
Harry Kane couldn't take any of his three good chances, for example. What is it with Kane and August? In three seasons of prominence at Tottenham, Kane has never scored a league goal in the season's first month.
Equally, Tottenham gave up a catastrophic and decisive late goal in a manner alien to them. Kane's profligacy hurt Tottenham but it was way they handed Chelsea their winning goal that killed them. As Chelsea manager Antonio Conte leaped in to the arms of his coaching staff , Pochettino fell back in to his seat wondering what exactly he had just seen.
Hugo Lloris' throw out to Victor Wanyama was not the most judicious. Wanyama had his back to play and an opponent close at hand. But we can forgive the Tottenham goalkeeper for that. He was sticking close to the Tottenham creed. Don't settle for the draw, seek victory.
But Wanyama's touch was poor and this triggered a decisive course of events. With Chelsea's David Luiz now in possession, danger threatened.
Had Wanyama made the necessary effort to track the Chelsea runners then the flame may have been extinguished. But he didn't and as Marcos Alonso hared past him, he was able to take the ball and drive in the low shot that Lloris should have saved but somehow didn't.
Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris reacts in frustration after conceding Marcos Alonso's winner
So in a heartbeat a game was lost when it never should have been.
Interestingly, Chelsea won this on the back of 32 per cent