A last-ditch Michy Batshuayi goal saw Chelsea silence Atletico Madrid with a 2-1 win in front of a raucous Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.
The west London club enjoyed the better of the game but found themselves behind after an Antoine Griezmann penalty.
It was shaping up to be a frustrating night for the Blues but Champions League winner Alvaro Morata headed home on the hour to drag Antonio Conte’s men level.
And super-sub Batshuayi saw Chelsea maintain their place top of Group C after their opening day thrashing of Qarabag.
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AS IT HAPPENED: Atletico Madrid v Chelsea
On an evening which saw Diego Costa paraded in front of his adoring fans at Atletico, Chelsea were evidently keen to put the saga behind them.
Morata, his direct replacement, took the task up himself. Inside 10 minutes he had slipped two efforts wide of the post, the second involving a delightful back heel from Chelsea’s star man Eden Hazard.
Hazard played a crucial part on numerous occasions, looking fired up in front of a bouncing Estadio Wanda Metropolitano. After setting up Morata, a fine passage of play saw the Belgian fizz an effort off the face of the post from 25 yards on 13 minutes, with Jan Oblak rooted.
It was the former Real Madrid man who nearly broke the deadlock though with an exquisite header, following a switch ball from centre-back David Luiz, which was tipped over the bar by Oblak.
Hazard, who often dropped deep to act as playmaker-in-chief, continued to cause problems for a resolute Atletico, who were on the back foot for the majority of the opening half.
But Antoine Griezmann – perennially linked with a move to Manchester United – showed Antonio Conte’s men a sign of things to come on 35 minutes when his near post run was almost picked out by Juanfran. On that occasion, David Luiz scrambled the ball to safety.
That attack sparked Diego Simeone’s men into life and Yannick Carrasco joined forces with Griezmann to carve out a swift counter attack, with the Belgian’s resulting shot being deflected behind for a corner.
And it was from that set piece that the hosts took the lead five minutes before the break. France star Griezmann stroked the ball home from the penalty spot following a clumsy Luiz foul in the box, to register the first European goal at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Marcos Alonso and Gary Cahill provided an instant response from Chelsea, both defenders firing just wide of the Atletico goal.
But they should have been two goals behind at the break. After Koke’s shot from range was parried by goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois straight into Saul Niguez’s path, the Spaniard contrived to drag his effort off target with the goal gaping.
Victor Moses drilled a second-half effort wide for the visitors, but the Blues finally had their leveller on 60 minutes.
It had to be Morata – the former Los Blancos striker – who put Atleti to the sword, just like it had to be Hazard who provided the assist.
The Belgian dinked a perfectly weighted cross to the near post and the 24-year-old Spain international deftly headed into the far corner.
Somehow, incredulously, Cesc Fabregas failed to put the Blues in front less than two minutes later.
After a scramble in the box, the former Arsenal man was picked out six yards out – unmarked – but he barely made contact and the ball travelled harmlessly wide.
N’Golo Kante was next to try his luck on 73 minutes, dragging a shot short of the near post, but it was Atletico’s nemesis Morata who should’ve put Chelsea ahead, prodding wide after find himself through on goal.
Simeone had thrown on former Chelsea record signing Fernando Torres in a bid to win the game, but the prolific Premier League man could only strike straight at Courtois from 20 yards.
As it turned out, Conte’s throw of the dice was the crucial one. Batshuayi, seemingly destined to be Chelsea’s plan B forever, threw himself at a last-ditch cross to tap home and win the game with the last kick.