Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho marked out midfield duo Cesc Fabregas and Ruben Loftus-Cheek for special praise after the win over Maccabi Tel Aviv.
Fabregas added the final goal in a 4-0 victory that launched their Champions League campaign in style, albeit against limited opposition.
Meanwhile, Loftus-Cheek, making his first start in the competition, recovered from a first-minute booking to put in a composed performance.
And Mourinho said the pair were instrumental in setting the team’s tempo.
He said: “Fabregas and Ruben gave strength to the team. They moved the ball very well.
“The team was more aggressive, with the ball and without the ball. The pressing was stronger, the lines much closer together.”
And Mourinho admitted it was a great relief to end a run of poor results which has left his side languishing in 17th in the Premier League.
He said: “To wake up after another defeat, to go to Cobham again to train after another defeat, two days before a derby against Arsenal, I could imagine how difficult that would be.
“The victory was very important. In the last two seasons we didn’t start too well in the Champions League at home and we put ourselves in a situation where we have to win points away.
“This, plus Porto’s draw against Dinamo, gives us a good situation.”