Roberto Di Matteo praised the contribution of Chelsea captain John Terry to the victory at Arsenal that kept them top of the Premier League.
Terry started the match days after he was handed
a four-game ban by the Football Association for racially abusing QPR's Anton Ferdinand.
After the 2-1 win,
Di Matteo said: "It was the right choice to pick him.
"John once again showed his leadership qualities and just what a good defender he is."
Terry was available for the victory at Emirates Stadium as he decides whether to appeal against his suspension and £220,000 fine.
"Terry has an uncanny ability to blank out hostility from opposition fans reacting to his latest off-the-field headlines."
The former England skipper acknowledged the support he received from Chelsea's fans throughout at the final whistle by going over to celebrate with the travelling contingent and handing his boots to a young fan.
Di Matteo added: "I had to think about what the right team was for the game and eventually made my selection. I speak to my players all the time but obviously had a conversation with John as well and he played very well.
"There is always a lot of talk about the negative side of things with John.
"He does a lot of good work as well, gives a lot of boots away to kids and does a lot of positive stuff as well."
Di Matteo was also delighted with striker Fernando Torres, who scored Chelsea's first goal with an improvised volley at the far post.
The former Liverpool man hounded the Gunners throughout and was a constant threat playing in front of the attacking trio of Oscar, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard.
Di Matteo said: "Torres was excellent. He scored a great goal but his all-round play was excellent. He is a player who really works hard for the team.
"He chases defenders down, keeps them occupied and he was always a threat.
"Even when he doesn't score he makes his contribution. He is the sort of player every team needs."