The mental and physical toughness displayed by Chelsea was a highlight for Conte, though he is not getting ahead of himself with regards to winning the Premier League title despite opening up a 13-point lead.
Chelsea won without star winger Eden Hazard, who was missing because of an unspecified injury.
"He played a hard game, but I think he created always a danger for Stoke's defensive line".
Stoke manager Mark Hughes claims that Chelsea striker Diego Costa tried to antagonise his defenders rather than the other way round during their 2-1 defeat to Chelsea.
With the Blues cantering towards the Premier League title - they could go 13 points clear with victory at Stoke on Saturday - the double is very much on for the West London side, especially given that they have beaten all three teams left in the FA Cup already this season.
Stoke's misery was compounded when Phil Bardsley was sent off for a second bookable offence in second-half stoppage time.
Chelsea led early on after Willian's free-kick beat Grant, who dived down to his near post and got a hand to the ball but failed to stop it finding the back of the net.
Mark Hughes meanwhile played the ideal host with some kind words for the visitors in his programme notes.
"He draws fouls and tries to make the most of contact when they are not fouls".
It was a world away from last season's match at this same stadium which represented perhaps the nadir of Chelsea's ill-fated title defence when their then manager, Jose Mourinho, who had been handed a stadium ban, had to watch from a nearby hotel as they lost 1-0 and slumped to 16th in the table.
Having raised hopes of an unlikely victory, it was instead Stoke who were on the wrong end of a late victor as Chelsea once again found a way to win when Cahill - who also scored in the reverse fixture between the two sides - swept a loose ball home with just three minutes remaining following a mistake by Erik Pieters. It's debatable whether Stoke's approach met his standards, but the Premier League leaders have rarely been pushed so close this season.
Asked if Costa went down too easily, Hughes replied: "On numerous occasions".
- Eight of Willian's last 19 goals for Chelsea in all comps have been from direct free-kicks.