Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino heaped praise on Dele Alli after his side claimed a first-ever win at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League
Spurs took a 3-1 victory on Sunday to earn a first three points at Stamford Bridge since 1990, and speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Pochettino was quick to laud his young star Alli, who scored twice in the second half.
The subject of much criticism in recent weeks, the 21-year-old responded with a man of the match performance.
Vindicated with the selection of Alli, Pochettino insisted any criticism would not have affected the midfielder recently.
"Dele would not have been affected. He is so strong. We need to tell him that if he wants to compete with the national team and try to win the trust and confidence of the manager then he needs to do the things he did today," Pochettino said.
"Younger players sometimes need to breathe, there's a lot of pressure to shoulder, he had nothing to show to me, or Tottenham, it's more about the expectation which is sometimes so high. I'm very happy for him because he played very well."
With such a previously poor history at Stamford Bridge, Pochettino revealed how he engineered the comeback after going a goal down on Sunday.
He said: "We tried to change and switch some players to link better between us, and after that game it looks like a good decision, but it was the attitude of the players that deserves praise.
"We showed great character after we fell behind so it's a great day for the fans."
The more I watch Tottenham play the more in awe I am by their skills. Spurs are actually rly badass.— sel (@selliesellers) April 2, 2018
"That type of game will help us achieve what we want. After nearly four years, a lot has happened at the club and I'm happy with how we are evolving.
"I remember four years ago when I arrived at Tottenham our challenge was to bridge the top four and now we're competing with the top sides. We're achieving many great things with our philosophy and we're proud with how we're playing."
Spurs now find themselves just four points off second-placed Manchester United, with an FA Cup semi-final against Jose Mourinho's men to come later this month. Sunday's victory has also opened up a comfortable eight-point lead over Chelsea in fifth, all but ensuring top level European football at their new stadium next season.