The downfall of Manchester United in the Champions League was so predictable. The Red Devils were outwitted by a crafty Atletico Madrid team that did not need to be particularly dazzling to progress to the last eight, just pouncing on United's disorganisation and lack of clarity.
It was at this stage of the Champions League last year when Chelsea began their journey to an unexpected triumph under Thomas Tuchel, confidently deconstructing an organised Atletico over two legs. The tone of those two performances continued throughout the rest of the tournament.
Chelsea's sense of precision and control reflect their head coach. Manchester United, whose fans have dreamed of luring the German away from west London over the past week, have no such unity.
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Ralf Rangnick's ideas have had minimal impact, suffering similar issues to his last four predecessors at Old Trafford. An inability to rise at the biggest moments, costly lapses in concentration and dressing room issues.
Cristiano Ronaldo has proven a lightning bolt for a lot of criticism in recent weeks, reports already linking him with a swift summer exit to PSG and the split in player cliques that have formed either in support or against the Portuguese star.
The feeling that United are a group of superstars struggling to form a consistent and threatening force is not a new talking point, best summarised by the evidence of multiple coaches falling short no matter how much is spent in the transfer window.
That culture is something Chelsea have managed to rid under Tuchel. The fallout to Romelu Lukaku's interview proved that. Even with the off-pitch chaos overtaking anything on it regarding Roman Abramovich, Tuchel's players have remained focused and have kept on winning.
The next owner is unknown and how they will approach the next era is equally impossible to gauge. But if we are heading for a more restrained level of spending, something that will be hard to replace post-Abramovich, the prospect of fewer mega-names and mind-bending fees doesn't have to be a bad thing.
A shrewder recruitment structure that places the system of Tuchel over the individual is something he's demonstrated and been one of his greatest successes so far.
Even if the choice to replace £98m Romelu Lukaku with £71m Kai Havertz isn't exactly a radical switch, it has shown Tuchel's authority and prioritisation of certain attributes over reputation. Lukaku has been one the game's deadliest finishers in the past decade but has found it awkward to fit into Chelsea's current playstyle.
Over the past month, it has become clear that Tuchel has sacrificed superstar edge for a player who better elevates his preferred counter-pressing principles. And it is hard to argue with this major selection call, given Havertz has hit the best form of his Blues career so far since that switch.
As Liverpool have proven with their smart recruitment since 2017, the prioritisation of a coach's system over eye-catching glamour has led them to the heights of European and domestic competition.
Keeping ahold of Tuchel is the key starting point for whoever buys Chelsea. Beyond that is ensuring the toxic culture at Manchester United is avoided in the coming years.