Two late goals against Bournemouth finally gave Frank Lampard his first win since his return as Chelsea’s interim manager.
The Blues had lost all four Premier League games since Lampard’s return in April, but had led through Conor Gallagher’s early header.
Matias Vina levelled for Bournemouth, but Benoit Badiashile and Joao Felix struck inside the last 10 minutes.
Relegation remains a possibility for the Cherries with three games left, while Chelsea are 11th in the table.
Bournemouth’s best spell came early in the second half when Vina missed a chance for a second and Dango Ouattara headed over from close range, but Gary O’Neil’s side still have a good chance of avoiding a quick return to the Championship with games against Crystal Palace, Manchester United and Everton to come.
They are currently nine points clear of the bottom three, although some teams still have four matches to play.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling among five players left out from the side that had lost 3-1 at Arsenal in their previous outing, Chelsea were much improved with 21-year-old Noni Madueke a particular threat on the right-hand side.
Lampard had opted to bring in Gallagher as well as Badiashile, Trevoh Chalobah, Mykhailo Mudryk and Kai Havertz, and he said shaping a side from a large squad after a poor run has been difficult.
“There are a few players finding their feet,” Lampard said.
“Typically at Chelsea, one or two have fed into the group and now we have more. It’s understandable that as a group finding rhythm and confidence can be difficult.
“This is a first step, it won’t be plain sailing but there is talent there and the players need to come together to get us to where we want to be.
“We came in off the back of a tough run, it’s been a tough year and there is a lot work to do. But the performance and the result in isolation are really good, we deserved to win the game. It’s a nice step forward for the lads.”