Antonio Conte praised his Chelsea players for finding a different way to win against Stoke, but was quick to warn them of the bigger picture.
The Blues were pegged back twice by the Potters before going on to record their 13th successive Premier League victory – a record that Conte believes will mean nothing if Chelsea do not go on to win the title.
“Congratulations go to my players. To win 13 games in a row in this league is very difficult,” Conte told BBC Sport.
“Stoke played very well. They hit long balls to Crouch and fought for the second ball.
“My players showed they can adapt to the different kinds of game we face. They showed great commitment, work-rate and will to win. I’m delighted for them.
“Now, it’s important to celebrate the arrival of the new year, then to think of the next game against Tottenham.
“Numbers are not important if you do not win the title. Now, they are fantastic and we are proud, but we must concentrate on the second part of the season.”