Chelsea regained the Premier League title as Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to score in a 1-0 victory over West Brom at The Hawthorns on Friday.
Following Monday’s comfortable 3-0 win at home to Middlesbrough, Antonio Conte’s side knew just three points were needed to ensure the trophy would return to Stamford Bridge and, in keeping with their efforts throughout much of the season, the Blues delivered when it mattered.
So often in 2016-17 the likes of Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and Pedro have been the men to inspire the Blues, but on this occasion it was Belgium international Batshuayi’s turn to revel in the spotlight.
Hazard and Pedro had been smartly shackled by the Baggies’ resolute backline, so much so that Conte substituted his star playmakers and replaced them with Willian and Batshuayi, the latter of whom stabbed home the decisive goal eight minutes from time.
Chelsea have played some sublime football at times throughout this campaign, although the winner was anything but – Gary Cahill’s shanked shot finding its way to Cesar Azpilicueta, who squared low across the six-yard area for Batshuayi to get the better of Ben Foster and spark scenes of delirium in the away end and on the touchline.
Conte’s celebration was typically frantic and the victory was just reward for the Italian, who has masterminded the Blues’ ascent in his debut campaign, helping to put to bed memories of last season’s dismal defence of the 2014-15 crown.
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