Gary Cahill acknowledged the nature of our win over Shakhtar Donetsk made the victory all the more enjoyable, as a late Victor Moses header secured a vital win which leaves our Champions League destiny in our own hands.
The Blues had taken an early lead through a fortuitous strike from Fernando Torres, before Shakhtar levelled three minutes later courtesy of a close-range Willian effort.
Oscar restored our advantage six minutes before the break with an audacious lob – his fourth goal in the competition – before Willian doubled his tally for the evening just after half time, ensuring the stage was set for the substitute Moses to seal the victory with a stunning last-gasp header.
‘We knew leading into the game how big the three points would be,’ said Cahill. ‘The manager stressed that to us and we knew how difficult it would be because of the first game.
‘Many times this season we keep pushing and pushing, we never know when we’re beaten and Victor’s come up with another big goal for us, like he did on Saturday.
‘It eases the pressure on us a little bit, and that’s what we needed to do, especially with Shakhtar topping the group before the game.’
The Ukrainians, who had impressed in their 2-1 win over the Blues in Donetsk a fortnight ago, showed enough in the final third, particularly in the first half, to suggest that it was going to be a difficult night.
Willian, who had been so instrumental at the Donbass Arena, did his growing reputation no harm at all with two goals and another outstanding display, but Cahill was impressed with the whole Shakhtar side.
‘They are a tough team to face, in the first game they were fantastic and surprised a few people and tonight it was no different,’ he explained.
‘Willian’s fantastic, they’re blessed with a lot of talented players in their side and he’s one of them. He had a big impact in the first game and again here, he’s very impressive.
‘Offensively, they just push people forward and at times they had four or five players up front. They have a lot of pace as well, so I’m glad we don’t play against them every week, they really impressed me.
‘Nevertheless, it makes the win even sweeter, especially with it coming in the last minute; it’s a massive three points for us.
‘The fans probably sensed how big the game was, they knew what a threat Shakhtar posed but they were always behind us. The atmosphere was fantastic when we got the goal at the end.’