Hiddink holds his nerve
Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink planned to go home after his team's 4-4 draw with Liverpool and drink a glass of wine.
After what the Dutchman witnessed on Tuesday evening he would have been well within his rights to make it a very large scotch.
What unfolded at Stamford Bridge was a stone-cold classic, the sort of encounter that bolsters the belief held by many that English football is the most exciting in the world.
It was also the sort of match to send a manager over the edge.
You could see the frustration in the respective dugouts. Hiddink had started the match wearing a large coat but that didn't last long, such was the frequency with which he made the short journey to berate the fourth official.
Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez refused to be outdone and by the end of the evening the official on the sidelines, Alfonso Perez Burrull, might just have developed a high-pitched ringing sound in his ears. Benitez was quick to tell the assembled media afterwards that his team had been penalised for 29 fouls. He left them to draw their own conclusions.
Benitez constantly issues instructions to his players, almost coaches them through the game. He is rarely still and must cover the same distance as a midfielder. He should have his own ProZone statistics.
Hiddink does not communicate with his players nearly as often during a game but the fact that he made a tactical substitution after 36 minutes, replacing Salomon Kalou with Nicolas Anelka, told you all you needed to know about his take on the opening to the contest.
By that stage his team trailed 2-0 on the night and were one more from falling behind in the tie. Hiddink berated his players at the break, told them that they had not started as planned and had given Liverpool far too much space. He also felt that too many of his players had lost their individual duels, but there is no denying that what made Tuesday's match so enthralling was in part straightforward human error.
Chelsea's encounters with Liverpool - and there have now been 24 since Benitez arrived at Anfield in 2004 - have occasionally been tense, tactical affairs in which the two sides have cancelled themselves out. This was not the case on Tuesday. Petr Cech's horrendous neglect of his near post, for example, allowed Fabio Aurelio to strike the most unlikely opening goal and gave Liverpool the self-belief to really take the match to their opponents.
Cech, uncertain against Bolton on Saturday, had another poor game and looks a pale shadow of his former self. Hiddink refused to be drawn on whether he would consider dropping the Czech keeper for his team's FA Cup semi-final with Arsenal on Saturday, choosing instead to acknowledge it had not been a great few days for Cech, who he described as "very intelligent and very self-critical".
Chelsea squandered possession far too easily in the first half, inviting their opponents to attack. For a team with such an enviable home record they looked extremely uncertain. I asked Ricardo Carvalho afterwards what it had been like in the dressing room at half-time. "Difficult," he said.
If it was difficult for him, the opening half must have been hell for suspended skipper John Terry, who was sitting a few rows in front of me. Looking towards the goal to his right as Liverpool clawed their way back into the tie, he must have noticed the huge banner that hung from the tier above. It said "JT - captain, leader, legend", but from his seat he was powerless to influence what was happening in front of him.
Hiddink deserves high praise for taking such decisive action in replacing Kalou with Anelka. He explained that when making such an early substitution he prefers it to involve attacking players and felt Anelka would offer more of a one-on-one threat and greater penetration.
Chelsea also responded to what Hiddink had told them at the break. It is one of the things that the coach has noticed in his short time at Stamford Bridge - the ability of his players to react to his instructions.
When Frank Lampard, inspirational at times and perhaps unlucky not to be on the shortlist for the PFA player of the year award, scored to complete a sensational turnaround and put Chelsea 3-2 ahead, the tie looked to be definitively over.
Sometimes, however, football does throw up the most unpredictable and breathtaking sequences of play. It defies logic and expectation. It is what makes it such a remarkable game and why we turn up week after week; a fear of missing something that we might live to regret.
Liverpool's quick-fire late brace remarkably took them to within one goal of qualification for a second time in the match before Lampard struck again to finally seal the tie in Chelsea's favour.
By this stage the atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge was sensational. The decibel level had oscillated throughout between the two sets of fans before finally settling in the home team's favour but all had seen something to savour.
As the players made their way out of the stadium afterwards it was clear that both teams felt they could take something positive away with them.
Benitez paid handsome tribute to his side, praising their character and quality as well as singling out the much-maligned Lucas Leiva for his performance in deputising for the injured Steven Gerrard. Xabi Alonso said that there were many positives for the Reds to take into their quest for a first Premier League title.
And there is no doubt that Liverpool did prove a point. Chelsea shut down Gerrard and Fernando Torres in the first leg and left 3-1 winners. People hinted at a team over-reliant on these two players yet, even though Gerrard was missing at Stamford Bridge and Torres relatively ineffective, Liverpool still had enough about them to score four goals.
Chelsea march on and now face Barcelona in the last four - although with Wayne Bridge now at Manchester City and Paulo Ferreira injured they will have to contest the first leg without a recognised left-back after Ashley Cole was booked on Tuesday.
Before then they face Arsenal in the FA Cup and resume their Premier League duties. Perhaps with so many fixtures looming they won't have time for a full video debrief of Tuesday's match.
I don't think Carvalho would be too bothered. When I asked him if he would like to see the match again he said: "No, no, no. We can watch it to learn from our mistakes but it would not be good."
Millions of football fans might choose to disagree.