Frank Lampard held to a draw by Bohemians on Chelsea debut at Dalymount
Bohemians 1 Chelsea 1
If Frank Lampard lasts as long as the two years that Roman Abramovich has apparently guaranteed him, then his journey as Chelsea manager will take him much further afield than Dalymount Park, but the 1-1 draw against Bohs highlighted the scale of the job that he has on his hands.
The last time the Chelsea fans were on the road was to Baku for the Europa League final win, and they made the considerably shorter journey to Dublin to get a first glimpse of Lampard in the dugout.
The stewards did their best to halt the scramble from the Des Kelly Stand as the Chelsea bus arrived, and Lampard will hope the roar that greeted him as he stepped off is a sign of things to come.
An early Michy Batshuayi goal was the difference until Eric Molloy (who is on trial) came off the bench to snatch a draw with a minute left as Bohs offered up a fine endorsement of the League of Ireland.
For all of the star quality on show, it was Bohs' Danny Mandroiu who shone brightest for the 45 minutes he was on the pitch.
Chelsea broke the deadlock on eight minutes when Batshuayi smashed home from close range.
Mandroiu went close with a shot that was beaten away as Chelsea led 1-0 at the break – after which Lampard changed his entire XI.
James Talbot pulled off two fine saves to keep the deficit to the minimum. Fourteen-year-old Evan Ferguson and Keith Ward went close before Molloy popped up with a deserved equaliser as cries of "you're getting sacked in the morning" rang out from delighted home crowd.
Bohemians: Talbot (Bohan 80); Pender (capt) (Kirk 60), Barker (Byrne 85), Finnerty (Kelly 85), Leahy (Funge 87); Buckley (Allardice 60), McCourt (Levingston 60); Wade-Slater (Devoy h-t) (Molloy 80), Mandroiu (Ward h-t), Graydon (Devanney 60); Wright (Ferguson 67).
Chelsea: Caballero (Cumming); Sterling (Zapacosta), Azpilicueta (capt) (Chalobah), Guehi (Zouma), Kenedy (Maatsen); Ampadu (Bakayoko), Drinkwater (Baker); Gallagher (Piazon), Palmer (Brown), Pedro (Gilmour); Batshuayi (Ugbo) *all subs h-t.
Referee: N Doyle (Dublin)