The Blues midfielder has recently lost his place in the starting eleven to Craig Gardner but seized his chance when Gardner was ruled out of the game through injury.
McLeish said: "It was one of Lee's trademark runs off the ball which got us the goal. He has done that his whole life.
"He scored six goals in the first half of last season. In the second half it all dried up, not just for Lee but for the whole team.
"But, if you watch the games, he was still making the runs and just not quite finishing them off. It was a classic Bowyer goal against Chelsea.
"We haven't seen much of Lee this season and he hasn't been happy about not playing. But it was a perfectly timed run for the goal and he had the composure to finish it off."