Chelsea boss Antonio Conte claimed his squad selection at Wembley had been proven right after his side beat Southampton 4:2 at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.
Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Eden Hazard were all substitutes in last Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final win over Spurs, maybe because of the proximity of this fixture.
And these three men served as a means of aid as Antonio Conte’s side moved within 12 points of the title with only five games remaining.
Chelsea playmaker, Eden Hazard netted the Blues first goal following a Fabregas through-ball and Costa lay-off.
Gary Cahill came back after gastroenteritis, headed in Chelsea’s second goal to give their hosts a half-time lead after Chelsea's former midfielder Oriel Romeu netted for Saints.
While Diego Costa hit his 50th Premier League goal through a pass from Fabregas to put an end to a seven-match scoreless race early in the second half and added a late fourth goal before Southampton's Ryan Bertrand’s late consolation.
Antonio Conte told Sky Sports: “It was a good win. Today I have to be pleased with the effort of my players. It wasn’t easy after a tough game against Tottenham. Southampton have good players and play good football.
“My choice was right for the game against Tottenham and the game today. It’s not easy to make these strong choices.
“To score at the end of the first half was very important. I was confident. I was seeing the team show a great will to win. In this part of the season, it’s not easy.
“We must be confident for the future. It’s important to look at ourselves and not the other [Spurs].”
Gary Cahill acknowledged that Tuesday’s win was a “massive step” towards the title after Chelsea marched seven points clear of second-sitted Tottenham.
He also added that they can sit back all relaxed and watch Tottenham get soaked with sweat at Crystal Palace tomorrow. LoL
“It does feel like a massive step. First time for a long time we’ve played first [before Tottenham in the league],” Cahill told Sky Sports.
“Marcos Alonso popped a nice ball across and it’s great for a defender. It was a great timing [the second goal] and a big boost before half-time. Most important thing is that we get the win.”
On his recovery from gastroenteritis, Cahill said: “I feel OK. I’m just recovering.
“The lads didn’t miss me against Tottenham at Wembley. This result leaves us in a good position. We have a big game this weekend [at Everton].”