Graham Potter praised the Stamford Bridge crowd for helping Chelsea “over the line” in a tight 1-0 win against Crystal Palace, on an emotional day which saw the club pay tribute to their former player and manager Gianluca Vialli.
Before kick-off, players past and present gathered on the pitch as a minute’s applause was held for the late striker, who passed away earlier this month.
The home fans chanted Vialli’s name during the match, including in the final moments as the Blues looked to hold on to a narrow lead.
Kai Havertz scored the only goal of the game, but head coach Potter praised the Chelsea fans for their support as the Blues won for the first time in five matches.
“It was an emotional day, obviously, because of the tribute to Gianluca, I thought it was very fitting for a man of his quality,” Potter said.
“I thought the crowd were great today, in terms of supporting the team. They recognised the moment we’re in and recognised the young players on the pitch.
“They stuck with the guys and got us over the line. In the end it’s an important three points.”
The Chelsea boss added that he was “relieved” to pick up three points and wants his players to enjoy the victory after “suffering” in recent weeks.
“It’s nice to get a win. You have to keep going, deal with the bad times and deal with the tough situations and accept the criticisms that come your way,” he said.
“The players have suffered, it’s not nice, that’s why it’s important for them to enjoy the win today and three points gives us a little bit of a shot in the arm for the weekend.”