Chelsea win Premier League title as Antonio Conte’s men are crowned champions with two games spare, after beating West Brom 1-0.
Almost forgotten £33m man Michy Batshuayi secured the title with a 1-0 win over West Brom. Having endured a frustrating season, largely spending most of it on the bench, he came to Chelsea’s rescue on 81 minutes – just five minutes after replacing Pedro as a substitute – and produced the all-important title-winning goal.
“I thought that Hazard and Pedro were tired and we needed more energy. Michy paid me a lot with this change! It was great. It wasn’t easy for me to arrive in England and try different habits, a different language and inherit players after a bad season.”
It’s been a superb first season at Chelsea where he has also led his players to the FA Cup final where they play Arsenal later this month.
Whilst Conte was delighted with the victory but admitted he wanted more.
“We were not lucky, we did a great job. It is a great season, but to be a fantastic season we have to win the FA Cup.
“This is for my players. I have to say thanks for their commitment, their attitude and passion, and their will to do something great this season.
“Now, after this win, I think that we must be happy for all the season. This win is for the players. They deserved this for their great commitment through all the season. We won this title together.
We fought a lot to win this title. My players were fantastic in a club who supported us.
“Every game I feel like I have played with my players. I show my passion and my will, my desire to stay with my players in every moment of the game. This is me, I am this.”
Chelsea defender David Luiz added: “I am happy. Very happy. It is my first Premier League title. When I decided to come back here I dreamed to win the Premier League. I am very happy because my dream came true.”
West Brom boss Tony Pulis paid tribute and said:
“You have to give Chelsea, Antonio and all his coaching staff the credit. He’s got them well set up. They’re very well organised.
“They’re probably at their best on the counter-attacking, very good springing out of defence, and have some wonderful players. They have some fantastic individual players who can change games in the blink of an eye, as they have all season. They’re very strong at the back as well. They deserve the title.
He follows in the footsteps of compatriot Carlo Ancelotti who guided the Blues to the feat seven years ago and Roberto Mancini, who led Manchester City to the crown in 2012.
Conte has been a huge success all season. He became the first manager in history to win three successive Manager of the Month awards as he scooped the prize in October, November and December.
His latest trophy triumph represents the seventh piece of silverware to be collected during Conte’s illustrious managerial career.
He celebrated three consecutive Serie A titles when in charge of Juventus between 2011 and 2014. In 2008 he won Serie B with Bari.
Conte has helped complete a remarkable turnaround at Chelsea, just 12 months after they disappointingly finished in ninth following a dreadful title defence that saw Jose Mourinho sacked in December 2015.
He arrived at Stamford Bridge last summer almost under the radar as Mourinho and fellow managerial heavyweight Pep Guardiola took charge of Manchester United and Manchester City respectively.
The Italian got off to a relatively troublesome start, winning just three of his opening six Premier League games.
Yet the 3-0 defeat by Arsenal last September was seemingly the turning point as Conte changed tactics to a 3-4-3 system and Chelsea haven’t looked back since.
A season out of the Champions League has helped their cause and they are on to record a historic double if they beat Arsenal in the FA Cup Final later this month.
PFA player of the Year N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard have been the stars of the show in another memorable season in west London.