Bruno Genesio said Lyon made it difficult for themselves in the Derby Rhone-Alpes on Sunday but acknowledged the importance of claiming all three points.
Goals from Sergi Darder and Rachid Ghezzal secured a 2-0 win over rivals Saint-Etienne at the Parc Olympique Lyonnais to lift the Ligue 1 side into fifth place on the standings.
After the match, a delighted Genesio explained: "It was important to win because we needed the points to climb the table.
"It was the first derby at the Parc OL and there was lots at stake and a lot of tension before the match, so we are satisfied to have won, even if we didn't make it easy.
"We were clinical when we were on top and solid when Saint-Etienne were on top. Often there is not much in it in games like these. I say it when we lose and I want to underline it today because Saint-Etienne played well."
Saint-Etienne boss Christophe Galtier, whose team ended the weekend in ninth position, was disappointed to see his side's run of four games without defeat come to an end.
He added: "We knew our opponents had lots of talent in attack. Our run has ended and we have been brought to our knees.
"We didn't get the breaks, like when Kevin Monnet-Paquet hit the post.
"It was an open derby in which we were unfortunate in certain situations. I cannot reproach my players. I thought the team played well and were dangerous at times.
"Unfortunately, in a derby you need to take your chances. Lyon did that at important moments."