Frank Lampard labelled Willian as ‘really important’ to Chelsea’s success following their Champions League triumph at Lille’s expense.
Tammy Abraham gave the Blues the lead on 22 minutes but Victor Osimhen’s header from a corner made it 1-1.
The Blues’ 1-0 defeat In their opening match to Valencia meant defeat was not an option for them.
And it was a moment of quality from Willian on 77 minutes that gave Chelsea the priceless 2-1 win – the Brazilian slamming a cross from the left down to the ground and into the net.
The result leaves Lampard’s men third in Group H and level on points with second-placed Valencia, who lost 3-0 at home to Ajax.
And Lampard hailed Willian’s efforts after the game.
Asked about Willian’s importance, Lampard said: “Really important – he’s a top player.
“I want to see him happy. I want to see a smile on his face because his work-ethic has been brilliant.
“He can take people out of the game with his speed and trickery and he can score goals for us.
“It’s a lovely balance for the young players. We need to have competition in attack and out wide because it must be like that, they must be on edge.”
Lampard handed starts to academy graduates Reece James, 19 and Fikayo Tomori, 21, as well as Abraham and Mason Mount.
And the manager was very pleased with the resilience of the young players and the team as a whole, particularly after Lille got their goal.
Lampard added: “I thought we did really well I have to say. I was very pleased with the performance.
“We are very young, it is the first away night in the Champions League for some of our team.
“We created enough and deserved to win the match.
“The start was great. I thought we had a lot of control in the early stages of the game. We got the goal and then they had moments and the crowd reacts to that which was tough.
“But I thought we showed resilience in the first half and then the second half was always going to be tough but the lads did the job.”