Chelsea FC are the 2017/18 Premier League Champions!
After early setbacks, going to three at the back proved to be a revelation.
Was this the genius of manager Antonio Conte or did he just get lucky?
We will find out next season when the challengers will be determined to dethrone Chelsea, but for the moment it must be all hail Conte.
It was hard to see Victor Moses and Marcos Alonso as much more than Premier League journeymen, but they turned out to be pivotal at wing-back in the new 3-4-3 system.
The signing of N’Golo Kante was the key – what a season he has had. PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year, his ball-winning tenacity has produced back-to-back medals after being part of Leicester’s remarkable conquest in 2015/16.
Eden Hazard was back to his best making him one of the stars of the season, Pedro was also back to his best creating a scoring goals all season.
Diego Costa was putting the ball in the net again and was talked round after seemingly having his head turned by the ‘Chinese Money’ – he
will be a big miss if he now heads East.
Conte got rid of the lightweight Oscar and the formidable but over-the-hill Branislav Ivanovic, gently side-lined legendary veteran John
Terry, and got the best out of the rest.
Ironic that the 1-0 victory away to West Bromwich that clinched it should have been reliant on the goal of £33 million bit player Michy
Batshujayi, but it showed the strength in depth.
And it could yet be a remarkable double if Chelsea beat Arsenal in the FA Cup Final.
Elsewhere below Chelsea
Tottenham had already secured second place in the table, but goals from Victor Wanyama and Harry Kane earned them victory over Manchester United in their final game at White Hart Lane.
Spurs plan to have their new stadium, built on the same site, ready for the 2018-19 campaign and will temporarily play their home matches
at Wembley next season.
Wayne Rooney got one back but United have long pinpointed the Europa League final as their one real hope of a Champions League place.
A disappointing season too for Pep Guardiola and Manchester City who at the start most pundits felt would be the team to beat.
Their latest effort was an unconvincing and lucky 2-1 win over Leicester.
The Etihad stadium side looked to be cruising after goals from David Silva and a Gabriel Jesus penalty.
Shinji Okazaki got one back, meeting Marc Albrighton’s cross with a superb acrobatic finish.
And then controversy at the end as referee Bobby Madley disallowed Riyad Mahrez’s late penalty for the Foxes.
Mahrez, who had been brought down by Gael Clichy, slipped as he took his spot-kick and touched the ball with his right foot as well as his
left as he sent it into the net.
Madley immediately ruled the goal out for a double-touch and awarded the home side a free-kick.
A season of inconsistency for City, brilliant at times but a defence and goalkeeper who could never be relied upon, and the bizarre
undermining of leading scorer Sergio Aguero. City’s owners expect much more.
Liverpool kept it together following some hiccups to hammer West Ham 4-0 at the London Stadium.
Daniel Sturridge scored his first goal since January, rounding goalkeeper Adrian before slotting home.
Brilliant Brazilian Philippe Coutinho then scored twice before Divock Origi fired in a fourth.
Victory against relegated Middlesbrough on the final day of the season will guarantee Liverpool Champions League football in 2017-18.
Arsenal beat Stoke 4-1 away but are favourites to miss out.
Hector Bellerin picked out Olivier Giroud for a tap-in before Mesut Ozil tucked home in the second period.
Stoke controversially restored hope as Peter Crouch converted Marko Arnautovic’s cross with his hand, but Sanchez drilled in a low finish and Giroud slid in a fourth.
Official Football Packages
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