This was tame rather than toxic; there was no Bridge of bile for Rafael Benitez. The protests were there but not everywhere. They were frequent but they were not sustained. Even some of the banners appeared half-hearted: "Divided we fall: Rafa out", "The Interim One" and "Rafa Benitez: we're just not that 'In-Ter-Im'". Quite.
There were chants, of course, for Jose Mourinho, some choice words aimed at Benitez - who was booed when he touched the ball to retrieve it for a throw-in - but the 'interim manager' has had far rougher rides than this in recent times. And far rougher rides on this touchline. An imploration to "Stand up if you hate Rafa" fell largely on deaf ears.
It helped that West Bromwich Albion were equally tame - until they scented that an improbable draw could be gained in the final quarter after Chelsea spurned a host of chances that their fine inter-play had earned. Oscar was tricky and bright and profligate; Juan Mata sublime; Eden Hazard dangerous as the talented triumvirate pulled the strings behind Demba Ba who scored the only goal and provided a much-needed cutting edge.
Nothing short of victory could have been contemplated and it lifted Chelsea back into third-place. A draw or, perish the thought, defeat and Benitez may well have not lasted the weekend. But then he did not expect to take charge of this game after his outburst aimed at the fans - and the club, despite his subsequent attempts to deny otherwise - following the FA Cup win away to Middlesbrough.
Benitez had expected to be sacked at the training ground on Thursday and while his future at the club remains highly fluid - would he be able to survive a bad performance away to Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League on Thursday or a heavy FA Cup defeat to Manchester United next Sunday? - the intention right now, as of last night (although it is probably worth an hourly check), is to keep him in place until his contract expires at the end of the season. Probably.
Roman Abramovich was not here but he will have been told about the performance and the lack of protests and having considered whether to pull the plug on Benitez, right now it appears the Russian billionaire will wait.
Maybe, most likely, it is simply the lack of a viable alternative for the rest of the season and there does not now appear to be much support to bring back Avram Grant who has been under consideration and crossing his fingers.
Post-match and Benitez took the predictable but still curious approach of attempting to almost air-brush what he had said out of history. Asked whether the Mourinho chants hurt - and there is no love lost between the pair - Benitez replied: "The main thing was they were behind the team. I was thinking about Demba Ba scoring the goal." Did Benitez regret what he said on Wednesday? "Where are we now?" he replied. "We are in a press conference after a game we've won with a lot of good football and confidence, let's enjoy it." And on it predictably went.
Of course, it helped his cause and his polite bullishness that Chelsea had won. Goodness knows what he could and would have said had that not been the case although there does also appear to be a gathering storm with John Terry once again confined to the sidelines despite being fully fit. That is one to watch.
The chanting started two minutes in but soon Chelsea were racking up chances: Oscar weakly steered Ba's cross straight at Ben Foster, Mata volleyed across goal, Oscar then headed straight at the West Brom goalkeeper before Ba struck. From a corner, Frank Lampard and Oscar exchanged passes and the latter crossed deeply for David Luiz to head back from the far post. Ba swept the ball home.
There was no reaction at all from Benitez but it brought home relief. There was a superb volley from Oscar, which was blocked, while Foster hacked away Ba's improvised back-heel. Oscar spurned another chance - this time his volley, from Ba's header into his path, was well held by Foster as Hazard ran in. Soon after a low shot from Oscar was also held by Foster, who has declared his interest in returning to international football and will have impressed the watching England manager Roy Hodgson.
But then it was Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech who was being tested. "We stayed in the game until the last minute but we could not get the clear-cut chance," lamented West Brom head coach Steve Clarke who will have rued the absence of the ineligible loanee from Chelsea, Romelu Lukaku.
Having tipped over Steven Reid's powerful first-half free-kick Cech was not called into action until he had to push over another free-kick, this time from substitute Peter Odemwingie. Then he did even better in beating the ball away from point-blank range after Cesar Azpilicueta had inadvertently directed a corner at him. It would have been an own goal: and Chelsea have scored enough of those already of late. Did Benitez have a message for the fans? "I enjoyed today's game," he said.