Chelsea clinched their fifth Premier League title in nervy fashion as a Michy Batshuayi goal secured a 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.
Chelsea knew that a win today would see them lift the title, however, the game almost got off to the worst possible start for the Blues with Thibaut Courtois having to tip a Salomon Rondon header over the bar with barely 30 seconds on the clock.
After this early scare Chelsea began to put the pressure on West Brom, with Gary Cahill seeing a decent effort at the back post just go wide. Chelsea began to have a score of opportunities with Pedro looking especially potent. However, a combination of mishits from the Chelsea frontline and some excellent Ben Foster goalkeeping kept the score-line level.
As the first half wore on the game started to open up with attacks quickly passing over between both teams. The Baggies had a good chance thanks to Fabregas giving the ball away, leading to a two on one break. It was a wasted opportunity however as McClean scuffed his pass and Chelsea regained possession. Within an instant Chelsea had the ball back down towards the West Brom goal thanks to a marauding run by Matic. Despite his best efforts the counter, counter-attack came to nothing.
Chelsea had obviously been experimenting with their set-pieces this week. There was a good chance when Fabregas squared a free-kick to Pedro but it appeared the Spaniard wasn’t quite ready and his shot when out via deflection.
There were long periods in the second half when West Brom looked much the better team. There was a great chance for Rondon who ended up one on one with Courtois but saw his chance wasted thanks to some excellent Azpilicueta defending.
Not long after this there was another chance for West Brom after Jake Livermore, who found himself in acres of space, passed the ball to Chadli who again saw his shot just go wide.
It is testament to Chelsea’s resolve and defensive nous that they managed to withhold this pressure on such a big occasion and they were rewarded in the 82nd minute when Batshuayi smashed the ball in after a period of scruffy play in the West Brom box. This was only his 2nd goal this season but he was in the right place at the right time for a skimmed Azpilicueta ball across the goal.
This sparked jubilant celebrations from the Chelsea bench with Conte and his team ecstatically hugging and jumping for joy. Special mention must be given to Courtois who managed to sprint the 60 odd yards from his goal to join in the celebrations in a time Usain Bolt would be proud of.
The game soured slightly towards the end with trouble in the stands. It is rumoured that some Chelsea fans had tickets in the West Brom stands and the Batshuayi goal obviously caused some tempers to boil over with Chelsea fans on the pitch appearing to try and run to their fellow supporters.
After a brief delay in play the game got restarted and despite a late spell of West Brom pressure Chelsea saw the game out as winners and secured another Premier League title, the first of the Conte era- you wonder how many more are to come?
Written by Dom Clarke.
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