There's life in Victor Moses after FA Cup disgrace
It was symmetrically fitting that Victor Moses claimed redemption from inside the same penalty box where he had earned disgrace just under three months ago.
With Chelsea ascendant after going behind, the Nigerian drove into the box, took one skip past Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, then went down under his own steam. There was no question about the second yellow card and the red card that followed, and Chelsea ultimately lost the FA Cup Final to Arsenal on a 2-1 score.
Vilification followed for the player who, under the tutelage of of Antonio Conte, had emerged as one of Chelsea's best performers in their blistering, if not emphatic run to the Premier League title. There were even some who questioned his future at Chelsea in the wake of that, even though he had only recently just signed a contract extension.
Overlooked by previous Chelsea managers and loaned out at every turn, Moses found himself a player reborn under Conte, with his eclectic mix of bounding attack combined with energetic defending finding favour in the sight of the Italian.
But his FA Cup Final setback set raised questions anew. Questions about his suitability and his durability for Conte's second season.
Those questions have been decisively answered by the Nigerian, and not just because of the goal he scored. Moses, as he had been for the best part of last season, was one of Chelsea's best players on the day. His direct running and quick feet a constant and worrying source of headache for Arsenal's defence.
It was from one of those that he shot the Blues in front. Hovering just between two defenders, Moses anticipated Gary Cahill's header, peeled away from the blindsided Gunners defence and took one sublime touch before lashing home from close range.
It was typical Moses. His best qualities on full display. But even more telling, it showed he had recovered fully from the toe surgery which kept him out of the Nigeria squad in June.
Pedro's red card signalled a Chelsea capitulation as Kolasinac headed Arsenal level and the Gunners went on to win 4-1 on penalty shootouts. But Moses can take comfort that some semblance of order can now be said to have been restored to his mini-world.
If there is one thing Moses has shown during the course of both life and career, it is that setbacks only serve to make him stronger. On the basis of his Community Shield showing, it would seem to appear that the box of tricks still has a few more tricks wiles waiting to pop up.