All the latest news and views from Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea could have given themselves a mountain to climb had they lost to Manchester City on Monday evening but, instead, with their 1-0 victory, the Blues just have to scale a small hill as they are just two points shy of Arsenal, who currently occupy top spot in the Premier League.
With just 14 match-days left in the domestic division - or 42 points, it is the coming months that will prove vital, with each marquee match potentially having the crucial influence on where the crown ends up at the campaign's conclusion.
This is the period, though, where manager Jose Mourinho comes into his own, as testified by centre back John Terry on the club's official website: 'We spent a good couple of days working on their strengths and weaknesses. They were long sessions for us but they were very worthwhile. It was a really important win… this is where [Mourinho] comes into his own.'
Pre-match, it was expected that the one strategy bemoaned by Mourinho, '19th century' park the boss tactics, would be utilised regardless, especially when it became apparent he was fielding an on-paper defensive starting 11.
'It makes me laugh when people say that,' said Cahill, as quoted by The Independent. 'But we were disciplined defensively with the two midfielders and centre-backs staying solid. It was a class performance. We had to weather the storm for the first 10 or 15 minutes but the work-rate was fantastic and we managed to get the result we deserved overall.
'Jose has the CV for a reason. He is obviously a top-quality manager and we worked on a few things in the last couple of days which he was adamant we put into practice. It did pay off for us and we defended solidly with a fair share of the ball.
'The club is a massive club and when you have that and massive players, and you add a massive manager, I think it combines really well. He is experienced and it is all new for me but it is working well at the minute. We are playing well and doing what he asks of us.'
Post-match, Nemanja Matic - who received the man of the match award for his dominant display in midfield - returned an impressive statistic not captured by passing accuracy or defensive contributions such as tackling, clearing and intercepting but, rather, in an underlining of his work-rate, the Serbian mid-season recruit ran 7.8 miles in the 90 minute match, with Ramires close behind him with 7.6 miles.
Mourinho refused to receive any commendation in his post-match press conference and instead deflected praise to the man who conducted the team talk - Billy McCulloch aka Billy Blood, a masseuse who is also something of an unofficial morale officer, as demonstrated by the video below.
Of Billy, Mourinho said: 'Billy the masseur that spoke to the team. He was screaming so much in Scottish I didn't understand him. I am serious. But the players were clapping. It was Billy's team-talk.'
image: © Ronnie Macdonald