Diego Costa scored the first and last of the match’s nine goals as Chelsea beat Everton 6-3 in an amazing Barclays Premier League fixture at Goodison Park.
The Spain striker had not been guaranteed to play in Saturday's encounter, after Chelsea had revealed during the week that he had suffered a muscle problem.
However, he shook off any fitness concerns to take his place in attack and delivered another two goals to continue his flying start to life in England, following his move from Atletico Madrid.
That Costa's brace, his third and fourth goals in his first three matches, had to vie for the headlines said much about a tie that will go down as one of the most remarkable in the Barclays Premier League in recent times, as Chelsea maintained their 100% start to the season.
Costa and Branislav Ivanovic hit the hosts with a quick-fire double inside the opening three minutes to leave the Goodison Park crowd stunned. But that was only act one in a dramatic script that also included a late goal for Everton new boy Samuel Eto'o against his former club.
Sylvain Distin was denied by the assistant referee's flag at the other end before Kevin Mirallas reduced the deficit on the stroke of half-time. A second-half Seamus Coleman own goal was quickly followed by Steven Naismith's third strike of the season, before Nemanja Matic made it 4-2 to Chelsea.
Eto'o, introduced from the bench for the final 20 minutes, got in on the act to give Everton hope, but Ramires and then Costa with his second meant that Chelsea had the final say to leave Everton winless this season.
Jose Mourinho's league leaders, on the other hand, continue to show why they are many people’s title favourites on a day when champions Manchester City suffered a shock home defeat by Stoke City.
It had been feared that Costa would miss the match, with Chelsea announcing on Thursday that the former Atletico Madrid forward had suffered a "minor muscular problem". Everton would likely have wished that his name was not on the teamsheet when the 25-year-old collected Cesc Fabregas's pass and sprung the offside trap before sliding the ball between the legs of Howard after just 35 seconds.
Things went from bad to worse for Roberto Martinez's side when Ramires forced the ball through a disorganised home defence to pick out Ivanovic, who found the back of the net.
The hosts thought they had pulled a goal back in the 15th minute after former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku's header struck the crossbar and was turned in by Distin, but the defender was offside. Distin was relieved to see a Fabregas strike flash just wide after the Frenchman had got a toe-end on the ball in the 29th minute.
Everton responded, and Mirallas brought them back into the match with an excellent header from Coleman's cross in first-half stoppage time.
Phil Jagielka's careless pass inside his own half almost sent Everton back to square one within seven minutes of the restart, but Costa was thwarted by Howard as he raced through on goal.
Chelsea's third did arrive in the 68th minute when Hazard's attempted cutback was turned into his own net by Coleman, only for Naismith to hit back inside 60 seconds with a cool side-footed finish after getting in behind a static visiting defence.
Matic's measured strike from distance kept Chelsea on top, although their lead was narrowed when Eto'o seized his moment to keep the pressure on with a clever header from a free-kick.
That was not the end of the scoring, as Ramires found the bottom corner with 13 minutes left and Everton substitute Muhamed Besic's poor first touch handed Costa his second, completing a memorable Chelsea victory.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez: "We started the game very, very uncharacteristically. It seemed we didn't have that defensive intensity, that focus you have to have, especially with a team like Chelsea. And from then you're chasing the game. But we were too soft with our defending, every time the ball was around our 18-yard box we had a real fear that the ball was going to end up in our net.
"Now we've got 10 goals conceded in three games and that is not like us at all. We kept 15 clean sheets last campaign. Our attacking play was phenomenal; we need to bring that intensity and that feeling to our defensive play."
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho: “We were killers in attack, especially on the counter-attack, so when you come to this stadium and get three points it is a reason to be happy. When you come here and score six goals, obviously my players did well.
"We try to have the initiative so we are a different team. But I want to be different in that we play better football, score more goals, but I don't want to be different in the sense that we concede goals and to concede three goals and identify the mistakes we made is something I have to work at."
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|13 Sep 2014||v West Brom (A)|
|09 Nov 2014||v Sunderland (A)|
|05 Oct 2014||v Man Utd (A)|
|18 Oct 2014||v Aston Villa (H)|
|21 Sep 2014||v Crystal Palace (H)|