Back to the real life after the fantasy for those Chelsea fans who have been living in a rhapsodic blur since the return of Frank Lampard to Stamford Bridge.
Lampard’s tenure started with a draw against Bohemians in the Dublin drizzle and humble surroundings of Dalymount Park.
He saw his team take the lead through Michy Batshuayi only to concede a late equaliser, scored by Eric Molloy, a trialist who came on as a substitute.
Frank Lampard drew his first game in charge of Chelsea as they were held by Bohemians
Michy Batshuayi scored the first goal of Lampard’s reign with an superb finish into the corner
The Belgian striker is looking to impress after returning from a loan spell at Crystal Palace
Lampard didn’t look to be too impressed with what he was watching during a point in the game
Eric Molloy grabbed an equaliser in the 89th minute with a powerful finish at the near post
Bohemians: Talbot (Bohan 80), Pender (Kirk 59), Barker, Finnerty, Leahy (Funge 88), Buckley (Levingston 59), McCourt (Devaney 59), Wade-Slater (Devoy 46, Molloy 80), Mandroiu (Ward 46), Graydon (Allardice 59), Wright.
Subs not used: Kelly, Swan, S Byrne, M Byrne, Omochere.
Goals: Molloy 89
Chelsea first-half XI: Caballero, Sterling, Azpilicueta, Guehi, Kenedy, Drinkwater, Ampadu, Pedro, Gallagher, Palmer, Batshuayi.
Chelsea second-half XI: Cumming, Zappacosta, Chalobah, Zouma, Maatsen, Bakayoko, Piazon, Gilmour, Baker, Brown, Ugbo.
Goals: Batshuayi 8
Chelsea’s website struggled under the demand to see the pre-season friendly and the club were forced to issue a hasty apology for the service as the live feed dropped out.
Supporters behind one goal in the Des Kelly Carpets Stand roared their approval as the new manager hopped from the team bus and applauded him as he made his way across the pitch, down the tunnel and then back out again to take his place on the touchline.
Bohemians were genial hosts, inviting the visitors to change in the home dressing room and the players’ bar to accommodate their squad and vast non-playing staff, replete with former players such as Jody Morris, Eddie Newton and newly-promoted goalkeeping coach Henrique Hilario.
Petr Cech, back at the club in his role as a technical and performance advisor, watched from the stands with chairman Bruce Buck.
Lampard, who has 35 players at the training camp in the Republic of Ireland, selected 22 for this game and gave them all 45 minutes, deployed in a 4-2-3-1 formation, against the team sitting third in the League of Ireland Premier Division.
The only first team regulars from last season to feature were captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Pedro, who both played the first half.
Lampard, however, has promised everyone on the books a clean slate and there were opportunities to impress for some of those frozen out by his predecessors Maurizio Sarri and Antonio Conte.
Lampard takes in the action from the technical area after receiving a warm reception from fans
Willy Caballero had to be awake early on after the Irish side sent a shot whizzing past the post
Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta is fouled by Andre Wright as the Spaniard tried to play out
Lampard looks on as his team for the second half are given their instructions by coaches
Lampard seemed deep in thought as he got to look at his squad for the first time in a match
Billy Gilmour had a chance to double Chelsea’s lead but was denied by an excellent save
Danny Drinkwater made his first appearance since last season’s FA Community Shield in a midfield pairing with teenager Ethan Ampadu who played more for Wales last season then he did for Chelsea.
Kenedy, back after 18 months on loan at Newcastle, played in the first-half at left-back and Batshuayi, who spent last season on loan at Valencia and Crystal Palace, looked strong and fit up front and opened the scoring after only eight minutes.
An ambitious effort from distance by Kenedy was blocked and fell kindly for him in the penalty area.
Batshuayi reacted quickly, adjusted his feet and slammed the ball into the net.
It was little more than a training exercise for Chelsea as they find their way under new leadership and they changed the entire team at half-time.
Among others, on came Kurt Zouma, back from a successful season at Everton, and Tiemoue Bakayoko, who finished the campaign in good form at AC Milan.
Bohemians made many changes of their own, sending on 14-year-old Evan Ferguson in the second-half, and Molloy who celebrated his goal with a fabulous handspring.
Lampard has less than a month to find a formula to his liking from these ranks of returning misfits, emerging academy graduates and senior first-teamers.
The next stage of the process comes on Saturday within St Patrick’s in Dublin. The real test starts next month at Manchester United.