Roberto Di Matteo commended his Chelsea side's 'drive and ambition' to prove they are still up there with the best teams in the world after they took control against Barcelona.
Didier Drogba's winner on the stroke of half-time handed the Blues a crucial advantage over the reigning champions heading into next Tuesday's second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final at Camp Nou.
The Londoners produced a well-organised defensive display to contain the Catalan giants and manager Di Matteo was pleased to see them reap the rewards.
"There's a lot of quality in this team and experience," he told Sky Sports.
"There's ambition and drive to show they're still up there with the best.
"When you play against Barca you know you have to be organised. You know you have to be patient as well because they have a lot of the ball.
"You have to be clinical when you get your chances. You're going to get a few chances and you have to take them."
Di Matteo has now guided Chelsea to 10 wins from his 12 games in charge after taking over as caretaker boss until the end of the season following Andre Villas-Boas' sacking last month.
But the 41-year-old insists the focus should not be on him, adding: "It's not about myself.
"I think about this group of players that amaze me every time they go on the pitch. It's about the club, the supporters. It's been another great European night for this football club."
The manager was happy to see Chelsea keep a clean sheet, with the Blues having lost out on away goals to Barca at the same stage three years ago.
"It's certainly good that we didn't concede a goal tonight," he added.
"We go into the second leg with a little advantage and I also think that we're going to get chances there as well and we'll just have to be able to take them again.
"We just have to be confident in our belief we can go through to the final."