Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti saluted two-goal striker Salomon Kalou after he put the Blues on course for a 4-0 victory over Atletico Madrid.
The Ivory Coast international, named in the starting XI with Didier Drogba serving the final game of his European ban, responded with the opening goal before the break and added a second after the interval.
Frank Lampard also found the target before Luis Perea's late own goal completed a routine Group D success which takes the Stamford Bridge side to the brink of qualification to the UEFA Champions League knockout phase.
Ancelotti was particularly impressed with the way Kalou did not allow his head to drop after missing a number of opportunities before he eventually found the net, with Atletico's early verve fading after they fell behind.
"I prefer to talk about the good performance because we did well. The first half was more difficult because Atletico had good opportunities," Ancelotti said.
"The match was in the balance. But after Kalou's first goal, we did a good match, a good transition into attack and played very well.
"Kalou is an important player for us because, when we are without Drogba, he can play and play well.
"He started the game 'no good' because he made a big mistake, but he maintained good motivation and good focus on his match to score twice after that.
"For him, it was very important to score. Also for us. He played very well for us."
Lampard's 69th-minute strike was his first for the Blues in open play this season and took him to 133 goals for the club and into fifth place on Chelsea's all-time scorers list ahead of Jimmy Greaves.
"I'm happy for Lampard, for sure," added the Italian. "I think that Lampard is not only important scoring goals. He's important because he works for 90 minutes on the pitch for the team.
"He's very generous, an unselfish player, and for me that's important. Yes, if he scores it's better, but I want to speak about Lampard for his work, not just for his goals.
"We did better at set-plays. We scored two goals from our own set-plays. It's important to avoid losing concentration on set-plays.
"We are in control now of this group, but our aim is to arrive in first place. That's important for our future in the Champions League, and it's still not certain.
"We have to secure more points in the group. It's not been easy without suspended Didier Drogba, but all the players have done very well in this competition so far."