Chris Coleman was confident he had just watched the new Premier League champions after Chelsea blew his Fulham side away with a devastating second half display at Craven Cottage.

Papa Bouba Diop’s brilliant volley briefly threatened to derail Jose Mourinho’s men’s serene progress by the banks of the River Thames but Frank Lampard and Arjen Robben dazzled as the Blues rattled in three second half strikes without reply to clinically ram home their superiority. A realistic Coleman conceded there was little his side could have done with their local rivals in search irresistible form.

“It might sound silly now, but we went out there to try and keep the ball. One minute we were back in the game, the next it was all over. The last of our confidence drained away.

I’ve just told my players you were played off the park by a class team, and thankfully you do not have to play opposition like that every week. They are the best team we have played this season and that includes Arsenal. We held Arsenal for an hour and should have taken something from the game. Today we were never at the races.”