Frank Lampard praised the impact of substitute duo Michy Batshuayi and Christian Pulisic after the pair provided the crucial goal and assist for Chelsea's late winner in their 1-0 victory at Ajax in the Champions League.
With Wednesday night's fixture seemingly headed for stalemate, the Belgian popped up to sweep home the American's low cross to spark scenes of utter jubilation and hand the Blues a thoroughly deserved victory in Amsterdam.
Neither player has found regular game time easy to come by this season, with £58m signing Pulisic either being consigned to a role on the bench or not appearing in the squad at all. For Batshuayi, he has been forced to make his mark with late cameos also, having found fellow striker Tammy Abraham hard to usurp after a blistering start to the season for the Blues.
Lampard confessed that it hasn't been easy leaving the pair out of his starting XI, but hailed the spirit of the squad for their respective contributions.
"Sometimes the toughest part of management is leaving out players that really want to play week-in, week-out," he said post-match, via the club's official website.
"You have to give Christian huge credit because he looked so lively when he came on and the assist is just as important as the finish."
Despite fielding a young side with little-to-no Champions League experience, Chelsea showed superb maturity on the night to handle to occasion, and insisted performances such as Wednesday's should be the benchmark moving forward.
"It can be a bit of a blueprint for us in terms of the work from the midfield players which was outstanding, the work of the wingers was outstanding, the work of the full-backs getting out to top players and stopping them making passes and easy decisions was absolutely outstanding," Lampard said.
"The younger players are still babies in Champions League minutes so this was a huge test for them. Football will continue to give you tests all the time so I don’t want to say they’re there or this is it but I thought the balance of our team between the young players who are learning quickly and the experienced players who they rely on to set examples was good."