Crystal Palace technical coach David Kemp heralded his side’s 1-0 win over Chelsea as big for the club, but bigger for the players.
John Terry’s own goal early in the second half was the decisive moment as Palace took all three points off Jose Mourinho’s men.
But far from being a lucky moment, the goal was fully deserved by a Palace side that more than matched their illustrious opponents.
Kemp said: “We had plenty of good moments, and although our finishing was off at times, given the penalty shouts, it could have been comfortable.
“You can go around the dressing room and single out every player for having played well, it was a real team performance.”
He added : “This was a big win for the players, it gives them the confidence and belief that they are in the right place.
“We’ve got nine wins now, not bad for a side promoted via the play-offs .”
The breakthrough came in the 52nd minute when Blues skipper Terry, under pressure from Joe Ledley, headed Joel Ward’s cross past Petr Cech.
And while Julian Speroni had to be at his very best to deny Eden Hazard late on, the Eagles were Chelsea’s equals throughout the 90 minutes.
Jerome hit the woodwork and Cech had to save well from Jason Puncheon – and while Chelsea laid siege towards the end, they rarely looked like breaking the Eagles’ resolve.
Mourinho said: “We lost the game because Palace had the better mentality, they were more aggressive, more committed and they deserved to win.
“We could have scored before them in the first half and we had chances to equalise, but in the end they deserved it.”
He added: “The Premier League title is gone for us. We’re relying too much on the opposition slipping up.
“Mathematically it is still possible, but maths is one thing, and reality is another.
Kemp added: “Jose came into the our dressing room after the game to congratulate the players, which was classy, and well deserved for the magnificent effort put in by the team.”
Palace are now five points clear of the Premier League trapdoor in 16th and go to fellow strugglers Cardiff City on April 5.