Maurizio Sarri was in a movie that Chelsea viewers have seen before – and the closing act usually does not end well for the man sitting in the manager's office at Stamford Bridge.
Sarri had that familiar haunted look worn by dismissed predecessors like Luiz Felipe Scolari and Andre Villas-Boas as he went through Manchester City's 6-0 defeat – the biggest defeat for Chelsea since losing 7-0 in Nottingham Forest in April 1991.
He admitted that "my work is always in danger" while insisting that he did not know if he was in immediate danger.
Allow us to help him. He is in serious danger if he is not already there, if this continues.
Sarris has conceded 10 goals in the past two away matches after losing 4-0 at Bournemouth on 30 January. Chelsea, once a household name for defensive solidity, beat all four in the second half against Eddie Howe's team and four in the first 25 minutes at City.
They have now dropped to sixth in the Premier League, one point behind Manchester United in fourth place after Jose Mourinho left Old Trafford in December.
Chelsea had heart, fight and every credible fixture from the moment they had to fall asleep in a fourth-minute free-kick after midnight to give Raheem Sterling the lead.
They were humiliated, embarrassed and exposed by a team whose owner Roman Abramovich would at least expect a challenge.
Since the turn of the year, Chelsea have lost at Arsenal, Bournemouth and now City, scored 12 goals and scored no goals.
They are now facing a tough fight for the top four, and Sarris's job is at stake, especially if he fails to score in the fifth round of the FA Cup at home to Manchester United and in the Carabao Cup final against City can achieve.
It's said the Chelsea manager's phone only tends to buzz with messages from Abramovich when things go wrong. Sarri can expect noises soon.
Abramovich does not expect Chelsea to be embarrassed. He is not used to it. Sarri is on dangerous ground with such results.
The Italian made a confused figure when City flew 4-0 in no time with this early blitz.
In a mix of confusion, frustration, and anger, he stalked his technical area and chewed on a cigarette butt before making notes. The notes describe a horror story when he reads it back.
After the final whistle, Sarri looked so disoriented that he flew past the outstretched hand of his friend and admirer Pep Guardiola, unaware that she was there.
It was a desperate week for a coach so highly regarded by like-minded people as his reputation for "sarri-ball" – a rapid pass, football based on pressing and short, quick shifts – has been hit hard.
Sarri did not help his own case and has certainly drawn some questioning looks from the Chelsea hierarchy as he challenged his own ability to motivate his players.
He did not believe that motivation was a problem in this overpowering, suggesting that the problems go deeper.
If Sarri has a clear message, it does not seem to send to his players.
And the great embarrassment at Etihad Stadium was mainly due to fundamental incompetence.
This is not just Sarri's fault. Some of the mistakes Chelsea made should not be left to the manager because he would not expect them from students, let alone from professionals.
How can virtually a whole defense in the early moments of such an important game in a free kick in a dangerous area off? How cab Marcos Alonso inexplicably penetrates into no-man's land to give Kevin de Bruyne and Bernardo Silva the opportunity to open them for sterling first?
What went through Ross Barkley's head as he led an alleged clearing head straight into his own area to the rapacious Sergio Aguero for Citys third?
How can Jorginho – a player City signed and signed before signing on to Chelsea in July – appear so fragile to freeze so easily from a game of strong numbers?
There still seems to be no logical reason why Jorginho is favored as Chelsea midfielder ahead of N & Golo Kante, who is arguably the best in the world in his position. On the rocks of such persistence, jobs can be lost.
These are questions that Sarri must quickly tackle and solve if he wishes to have a chance of a longer stay at Chelsea.
History shows that if Chelsea's team seems to be disconnected from a manager's ideas, it's hard to find them almost impossible. Jose Mourinho, Scolari and Villas-Boas can tell him all about it.
Loving the man he admires so much, Guardiola struggled with his own struggles from season one when he delivered his message to Manchester City.
He clearly hopes that Chelsea and Abramovich will show faith and patience, and states that he is so happy at City because his board believes in him and his methods.
Again, the story is against Sarri.
Brazilian World Cup winner Scolari was sacked fourth in the Premier League after just eight months with Chelsea. Villas-Boas lasted only nine months.
Abramovich, if you examine the evidence, is not a patient man. Why would he do it if his impatience with trophies was often proven? While many find the culture inedible, Abramovich can refer to the cutlery he has gained after making these big decisions.
This was a scary day for Sarri – a manager who is now in serious trouble.