It was a moment Chelsea fans and Demba Ba had long dreamed of, but now that the dust has settled after his winner against Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday, the reality remains the same.
The Senegalese striker will not be playing at Stamford Bridge next season.
Ba was brought to Chelsea for £7 million in January 2013—a transfer that made good sense at the time, considering his scoring record at Newcastle United.
In 54 Premier League appearances, he had notched 29 goals at St James' Park and seemed a snip.
Moving south has seen his goalscoring form become the same, though. In his 18 months in west London, Ba has been a shadow of the player who had impressed so much for the Magpies.
And it happened long before Jose Mourinho arrived at Chelsea, too.
On the back of the PSG victory, Ba had some choice words for his manager.
"Maybe he [Mourinho] doesn't have strikers to his liking but I know that we have three great strikers and I think that a lot of clubs would like to have them," Ba was quoted in the Mirror.
He may have been feeling bullish after helping Chelsea reach the Champions League semi-final, but the stats show Ba cannot hide.
In contrast to his Newcastle form, at Chelsea the No. 19 has scored just 12 goals in 44 games in all competitions.
That figure is less than the 15 he had scored in the first half of 2012-13, before he swapped Newcastle for Chelsea.
Indeed, under Rafa Benitez's tenure, Ba's return was just six goals in 22 games—hardly the form of a striker Mourinho would have felt confident in leading the line this season.
His comments on Tuesday suggest Ba may rue the esteem in which he is held by his manager, yet he has played his own part in ensuring he has become a peripheral figure at Chelsea.
The goals and performances simply haven't been what is required.
"I haven't been given my chance much this season [but against PSG] I've taken it," he continued.
It's a valid point Ba makes, but it's all a little too late for him.
Mourinho isn't a manager to get carried away with one performance. His touchline jig, running from the dugout to celebrate with his players after Ba's goal, is a case in point.
The Portuguese was guilty of being caught in the moment on Tuesday as he celebrated a memorable victory. Yet, as he reached his players, reality set in. The tie still wasn't won and Mourinho's elation soon turned to concern as he started instructing his players on the tactics that would eventually help them see the game out.
It's the same with Ba's predicament. He was the toast of Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, but that's where it ends for him. Mourinho knows better and so do Chelsea fans.
Ba can cherish his winner against PSG as his finest moment in a Chelsea shirt. It won't change the bigger picture come the end of the season, however.
More Champions League moments or not, it's the end of the line.
Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @garryhayes
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