Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press
John Terry returned to the Chelsea team to snatch a crucial three points with a 93rd-minute winner against Everton at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The former England international had been out with a muscle injury, but he connected with an injury-time free-kick from Frank Lampard to poke the ball past Tim Howard in the Everton goal.
The result ensured Chelsea would remain top of the Premier League this weekend, after the win opened up a four-point gap at the top, albeit for a few hours only.
But Chelsea were fortunate to gain the victory after being dominated by Everton for the majority of the first period in which Gareth Barry produced a midfielder masterclass for the Blues.
Leon Osman forced a brilliant stop from Petr Cech early on, but Everton paid the price for failing to convert their midfield dominance into goals.
And an improved Chelsea returned to the field after the break, with Howard pulling off a fine double block from Eden Hazard and Bransilav Ivanovic in the second period.
However, in injury-time, Chelsea substitute Ramires was adjudged to have been felled on the left-hand side of the Everton area by Phil Jagielka. The award by referee Lee Probert seemed harsh, but Lampard sent over the set-piece into the Everton area.
The cross missed the visiting defence, but Terry stuck out a leg to prod the ball against Howard and into the back of the net.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho admitted the win could be a crucial one in the race for the Premier League title, as the official Chelsea Twitter feed reported him saying, "If today we had a draw, I think in a couple of hours we would be third in the table. This is the reality in this competition."
Chelsea will now travel to Turkey to face Galatasaray in the Champions League last-16 first leg on Wednesday. Everton will play host to West Ham United next Saturday in Premier League action.
On target: 8-2