Fortune favours the brave and Aston Villa will see their fair share this season – even if it escaped them at Chelsea.
And it should ease the sense of injustice after they walked away from Stamford Bridge with nothing but their pride.
There was no red card, but Villa boss Paul Lambert was red-faced with fury after referee Kevin Friend changed the shape of the game.
Friend failed to send off Branislav Ivanovic for a swing of the elbow on Christian Benteke two minutes before he scored a second-half winner.
And, deep into stoppage time, he ignored Villa’s penalty claims after the ball struck John Terry’s outstretched arm.
While Arsene Wenger argued Villa got the decisions at Arsenal on Saturday, in west London they did not.
Both were blatant but the injustice should not linger after another gutsy outing which should have yielded points.
Villa have got under their opponents’ skin, at both Arsenal and Chelsea, and but for winning the points last night did everything expected of them.
The blue juggernaut was a different proposition to the misfiring Gunners, but one they approached with the same vigour.
Well-organised Villa were not overawed by conceding another early strike – this time Antonio Luna’s unfortunate own goal. But there was never any danger of a repeat of last season’s 8-0 thumping.
Chelsea are expected to dominate at home but, marshalled by the outstanding Fabian Delph, Villa ensured they fought for every inch.
The midfielder has suffered his injury problems but is growing into the player Villa thought he would be when they paid Leeds £6million in 2009.
Still 23, he is one of the more experienced in the team with the youth policy almost bearing fruit again last night.
Ciaran Clark got the nod ahead of Jores Okore with Joe Bennett and fit-again Yacouba Sylla returning to the squad.
Gabby Agbonlahor and Andi Weimann were deployed on the flanks as Villa flooded midfield to frustrate Chelsea but their resistance lasted just six minutes.
The lively Eden Hazard raced onto Oscar’s ball and Brad Guzan could only parry the effort straight at the helpless Luna to deflect in.
Mourinho’s Chelsea were in typically brash mood, Hazard a constant threat as he flitted about, but while it remained 1-0 Villa had a chance.
And Weimann and Karim El Ahmadi missed half-chances with Chelsea on cruise control.
Oscar dribbled a shot wide 10 minutes before the break and Clark was replaced by debutant Okore to become Villa’s second centre-back casualty in two games, after taking Demba Ba’s boot to the head.
But, as against the Gunners, Villa hit back and stunned Stamford Bridge on half-time when Benteke levelled. Agbonlahor streaked down the left and crossed for the Belgian who fired in off the post.
Villa’s tails were up and, while Chelsea again kept the ball after the break, there was little they could do against the visitors’ massed ranks.
The excellent Delph, El Ahmadi and Ashley Westwood protected their defence like a new-born with Juan Mata, Oscar and Hazard unable to penetrate.
Buoyed, Villa pressed and Agbonlahor fired over before Weimann forced Petr Cech into a superb near-post save on 63 minutes when he latched onto Benteke’s centre.
Chelsea were rattled but controversy reigned when Ivanovic escaped with a yellow card after a wild swing at Benteke. Two minutes later he rose to head in the winner from Frank Lampard’s free-kick.
Weimann nearly grabbed the equaliser four minutes from time when Cech’s legs blocked his volley.
The drama continued in stoppage time when Agbonlahor’s header hit Terry’s arm but – with Lambert going wild – nothing was given.
No points, but plenty of plaudits and there is no glory without guts.
By Nick Mashiter