Antonio Conte has revealed he urged his Chelsea players to remain calm against Everton after the Blues found the Toffees difficult to break down in the first half of their clash at Goodison Park on Sunday.
Chelsea went into the match with Ronald Koeman's side knowing that anything other than a victory against a side who had won their last eight home games could see their four-point lead over Tottenham cut should Spurs beat Arsenal later in the day.
And, indeed, it appeared as though Chelsea could be on their way to dropping points when, after 65 minutes, the Blues had still not found a way past Everton's stubborn defence.
But a stunning strike from Pedro a minute later saw Chelsea get the goal they were desperately looking for before further strikes from Gary Cahill and substitute Willian helped secure a 3-0 win in Liverpool.
After the game, Conte praised Everton for making things tough for the leaders but admitted beating an in-form side had injected his players with even more confidence going into the final part of the season.
"[It was] A good win," Conte told Sky Sports. "Everton are a strong team and they prepared the game well, so we must be pleased.
"We had a lot of patience for the right moment to hit, and we deserved the win.
"In this type of game it's easy to lose your head, lose your balance. For this reason at half-time I told them to be calm and to stay in the game.
"We scored an amazing goal with Pedro, then the second and third, but it was not so easy. This gives us lots of confidence. Now it is important to prepare the final rush.
"If in the next game against Middlesbrough you don't win you lose this victory. We must look step by step."