The points looked like they were going to be shared as an 85th minute Stephen Ward goal cancelled out Ramires’ opener, but Frank Lampard popped up in the final minute with the winner.
Villas Boas knows that it was an important three points, and has praised the unity of his team.
“It was an important result,” the Portuguese coach admitted to Sky Sports.
“After the recent results that we have been getting, the team showed good strength of character to come back from some negative results in the December fixtures and come away with a win.
“It was a tremendous physical effort that we were put through, 48 hours after our last match, so that is an excellent sign for the team.
“It is in moments of difficultly that you have to dig deep to find good results and the team did exactly that. I am very, very proud.
“We are united in the objectives we have for the season.
“It has been difficult with the last two fixtures and that has made us look at the Premier League table with a different perspective.
“We were in it (the title race) in mid-December and it’s a shame we missed a big opportunity to close, because we would have been up there at the top to fight for it.
“But all of the top teams will meet each other from January onwards. With a lot of people challenging for the title, surprises can happen,” he concluded.
Chelsea have closed the gap on Tottenham to two points with the win, but have played two games more than the third placed side.
By Gareth McKnight