Demba Ba's 28th-minute goal saw Chelsea claim a 1-0 win over West Brom to move back above Tottenham to third place in the Barclays Premier League for 24 hours at least, depending on the result of Sunday's North London derby.
"I was today really pleased with the performance on the pitch and the atmosphere was really good," said Benitez, who was smiling broadly afterwards.
"It was a great performance. The team, for 75 minutes, were in control, good play, good passes and great opportunities.
"The (West Brom) keeper (Ben Foster) was man of the match, for me. That means a lot."