Chelsea's amazing late fightback was ultimately in vain as Aston Villa scored a stoppage-time equaliser in a 3-3 draw which leaves the champions' Barclays Premier League title defence hanging by a thread.
Didier Drogba and John Terry looked to have snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with goals in the final six minutes at Stamford Bridge.
Drogba equalised with the ugliest of goals. The struggling striker's miscontrol set up Salomon Kalou, whose shot was blocked back for Drogba to rifle home via Carlos Cuellar.
With barely a minute remaining, Chelsea snatched what they thought was a winner. Drogba's bullet header was parried by Brad Friedel straight to Terry, who produced a superb sidefoot finish to spark wild celebrations, with Carlo Ancelotti mobbed by his own players.
But the joy was short-lived with Ciaran Clark stealing in completely unmarked at the back post to nod in Marc Albrighton's cross.
Both sides had held the lead in an incredible, topsy-turvy game, with Frank Lampard's penalty for a foul by James Collins on Florent Malouda cancelled out by Ashley Young's spot-kick and Emile Heskey's powerful header.