Chelsea head coach Carlo Ancelotti hailed his side's display as 'one of the best this season', after seeing the Premier League leaders thrash Sunderland 7-2 at Stamford Bridge.
Two strikes apiece from Nicolas Anelka and Frank Lampard, as well as goals from Florent Malouda, Ashley Cole and Michael Ballack left the Italian a happy man, with his squad having coped with the absence of several players away of Africa Cup of Nations duty.
He told the club's official website:"That was one of our best performances this season, we played very well.
"We started very well, we scored three goals in the first half and overall we did very well.
"I am very happy because it was an important test for us without the African players, we could have had a lot of problems, but today the players played very well.
"It is an important message from us because we can play without the African players. These are very important players for us, but I have a fantastic squad and in this period I can use other players.
"We didn't want to just send a message to the other teams, this game was for us and it was very good because it proved our motivation and our determination."