Roberto Di Matteo has warned that it will still be hard for Chelsea to progress out of their group and into the knock-out phase but welcomed the European Cup holders' return to winning ways outside Stamford Bridge after Nordsjaelland were deflated and defeated in Copenhagen.
What had been a tight contest ended up with the visitors imposing their qualities in the latter stages to ensure they will travel to Donetsk later this month top of Group E. The Danes may have been unfancied on their home debut in this competition but this was only Chelsea's second away win in Europe in nine attempts – the penalty shoot-out success in Munich last May aside – and provided a timely boost following last month's draw with Juventus in London.
"We're pleased [to have won again away from home] because it's always difficult in the Champions League," said Di Matteo. "We'd expected a difficult game and that's exactly how it turned out to be. We were a bit slow out of the blocks, even if we had chances to score, and that second goal was important to settle us down. Once we'd scored that we knew we'd win the game. But there are no pushovers in the Champions League. Look at Bayern Munich losing tonight [against BATE from Belarus] and Manchester United having to come back from a goal down.
"The fact that Shakhtar Donetsk and Juventus drew in Turin shows exactly what I always thought: it's a difficult group. The Ukrainian champions are a very good team and it's going to be hard for us to qualify. But for us it was important to win here. The scoreline shows four goals scored and none conceded so that's pleasing."
The Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard, who captained the side in the absence of the rested John Terry, acknowledged the significance of the victory. "It was a great win for us after a tough game," he said. "They were a bit of an unknown but we knew they played good football and we had to bide our time. We put the hard work in and all the goals came at the end. There was a bit of concern because this is Champions League football and they were creating half-chances at 1-0 and then hit the post. But we dominated once we scored that second goal and looked comfortable in the end."
Terry, who was serenaded by the travelling supporters as he warmed up on the touchline, expects to receive the Football Association independent regulatory commission's written reasoning behind the decision to ban him for four games, and fine him £220,000, within the next 24 hours. The four-man panel last week found the 31-year-old guilty of using insulting language with racial connotations against the QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during the defeat at Loftus Road almost a year ago. The reasoning will be published on the FA's website and Terry, who was acquitted at Westminster magistrates court of a racially aggravated public order offence over the same incident in July, will have 14 days in which to decide whether or not to lodge an appeal.