Roberto Di Matteo admitted Chelsea had enjoyed a slice of luck as a last-gasp goal from substitute Victor Moses gave the Champions League holders a dramatic 3-2 win over Shakhtar Donetsk at Stamford Bridge and kept them on course for the knockout stages.
The Blues were in real danger of seeing their hopes of qualification from Group E suffer a severe setback as one-time transfer target Willian struck in each half to cancel out goals from Fernando Torres and Oscar following howlers from Shakhtar goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov.
However, Moses, who had only come on for the final 10 minutes, got on the end of Juan Mata's corner deep into stoppage time to snatch a victory that leaves Chelsea level on points at the top of Group E ahead of their final two games, away to Juventus and at home to whipping boys Nordsjaelland.
"In terms of the timing of the winning goal, you probably could agree that there was an element of luck. It was basically the last kick of the game,'' said Di Matteo, who had elected to leave captain John Terry on the bench.
"At the end, when you get a win and you've played against a good team, we deserved to win. We did a lot of good things, put them under pressure, particularly in the first half, and that's how we scored the two goals: by applying pressure on them. I think we deserved to win, ultimately."
Di Matteo added: "It was always going to be a difficult game. They are a very good side and have a lot of good individual players, and play as a team very well.
"They have shown that in all the games they have played. It made it difficult to go ahead twice and not hold on. We need to work on these things to see out games.''
Di Matteo admitted the win put a new complexion on the remaining matches for all sides in the group, with Juventus only a point behind.
"This is not going to make things easier, but it is going to give us a good chance to qualify because I think, like this, the last game will be crucial between Shakhtar and Juventus when they play each other,'' he said.
"We need some points from our last two games, and to win the last game for sure."
Di Matteo said he felt his captain understood the decision to give him a rest, adding: "Considering the last four weeks in his professional life, he has had one competitive game, and I thought we needed players who were 100% match fit for a game like this.
"I'm very glad that he's back with us now and is available, because we will certainly need him."
Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu said the defeat was difficult to take, especially after his side had dominated for long periods.
The Romanian said: "It is painful. Our goalkeeper made some incredible mistakes, and we made a big mistake with the third goal, because we knew it would be difficult with the Chelsea players, because they are tall and very powerful so we should not give them chances to head at corners.
"The referee also made a mistake, because he said there was three minutes and not three minutes 30 seconds. There should not have been a corner, it would have been finished.
"But I am confident because I have seen my team play a very good match. We still have two games left to play and have the same number of points as Chelsea."
Information from the Press Association was used in this report