Chelsea show the stuff of champions in just eight seconds
Chelsea's speedy first goal defines champions and shames their rivals
Just eight seconds were needed to confirm Chelsea's status as champions in waiting.
Eight seconds were enough to suggest that Arsene Wenger should be fired, Pep Guardiola is no longer the messiah and Juergen Klopp needs to find either a chequebook or a new club.
Eight seconds underlined the greatest cliche of them all, that simplicity really is genius.
Bluffers overcomplicate and losers overcompensate.
But, in eight seconds, Antonio Conte simplified and stupefied his opponents in a 2-1 win yesterday morning (Singapore time.)
Eight seconds confirmed his genius, killed off West Ham's resistance and humiliated all other pretenders to the crown.
In the 25th minute, the Hammers attacked Chelsea's goal, but the Blues are most dangerous when defending.
Traps are always laid around their own penalty box.
Earlier in the season, Guardiola's resume and Klopp's enthusiasm duped us all as we fawned over their countering and gegenpressing.
But Conte had already perfected his interpretation of catenaccio at Juventus and Italy.
At Chelsea, he wasn't really applying a sweeper system, but sticking a plaster over a back four that was haemorrhaging goals.
A desperate Jose Mourinho attempted to label his old club as too defensive - an ironic statement from The Defensive One - but the Blues are anything but.
They needed eight seconds to prove otherwise.
Rather than cross to Andy Carroll, Mark Noble dithered and lost possession to Chelsea's "twins".
That's the nickname Eden Hazard gave to N'Golo Kante after the match.
It's worth remembering now that Leicester City were considered fortunate for keeping Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez and losing "only" Kante.
His inconsistency for France cost him a place in the Euro 2016 final and there was the slightest whiff of one-season wonder about him.
But Conte knew better.
His devilish midfield general vindicated his decision yet again when Kante robbed Noble and fed Hazard.
The Belgian then pulled away so fast, he practically beeped like the Road Runner, taking no more than four seconds to get from one end of the field to the other, the ball tied to his bootlace.
He has taken no time at all in bringing back the impish magician with TNT in his boots.
Actually, Conte brought him back.
When Mourinho was moaning his way to the Chelsea exit, Hazard effectively excused himself from playing duties.
The winger's behaviour was exasperating, until his new manager coaxed him back from the brink.
The list of marginalised or meandering talents is long in the top six. Daniel Sturridge, Sergio Aguero, Joe Hart, Yaya Toure, Luke Shaw, Anthony Martial and Mesut Oezil are all on there, among others.
Some were managed with subtlety. Others were treated appallingly.
None were handled as well as Hazard.
He's gone from pariah to the EPL's most penetrative forward in the time it's taken Chelsea to replace one manager with another.
That's entirely Conte's handiwork, along with the resurrection of Diego Costa.
In the New Year, the striker was unsettled. He wanted more from a finite career, just like Alexis Sanchez at Arsenal.
In response, Arsene Wenger dropped Sanchez for the Liverpool trip and succeeded only in elevating the Chilean's value to other clubs.
Conte dealt with Costa behind closed doors. Unlike Wenger or even Claudio Ranieri, he refused to succumb to player power.
Costa was left with no choice but to play ball, at least for now, and scored Chelsea's second at the London Stadium.
But he wasn't involved in the Blues' opener. That was all Hazard.
As the Belgian advanced on goal, he swopped passes with Pedro Rodriguez, rounded Darren Randolph with an exquisite first touch and moved Chelsea closer to the title.
The ball crossed the line just eight seconds after Kante picked Noble's pocket.
Eight seconds were enough to capture Chelsea at their electrifying, counter-attacking best.
Nobody does this stuff better than the Blues.
The rest of the top six should hang their heads in shame and seriously consider their shortcomings.
The evidence against them is damning. And it's only eight seconds long.