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    The Big moment's of Chelsea's title winning season


    So on Friday, the inevitable happened. Courtesy of Michy Batshuyai's goal at the Hawthorns, Chelsea's 1-0 win at West Brom gave them their fifth Premier League title, with the Blues having been top since mid November. What were the big moments that made Chelsea champions? Here is the main moments in the season that made Chelsea 2016-17 Premier League champions.

    SUMMER DEALINGS




    Following the arrival of Antonio Conte, the Italian spent nearly £120m on Marcos Alonso (above), N'Golo Kante, Batshuyai and the returning David Luiz. Some of his buys were questioned, particularly Luiz, due to his clumsy style and many were baffled to why the Brazilian was back at the Bridge. However, alongside Gary Cahill and Cesar Azpillicueta he has looked a reformed, assured defender as Chelsea have lost just five games. Meanwhile, Alonso's only Premier League experience prior to this season was spells at Bolton and Sunderland, the first of those ending in relegation in 2012. However, the Spaniard has made the left wing back position his own, scoring six goals and has proved an integral part of Conte's 3-4-3 system. Batshuyai may be considered a flop, considering £33m was splashed out to bring him in from Marseille. But having scored the goal that sealed the title, he earned his respect from the Chelsea fans. As as for Kante, there probably isn't enough time to praise him in one article. A cult hero after his stunning exploits in Leicester's shock title win twelve months ago, the solid Frenchman has only got better, and deservedly won the PFA Player of the year award for his excellent season. Money truly well spent by the champions.

    THE REALITY CHECK


    Chelsea made a strong start to the season, winning three of their opening four games, with Conte using a 4-3-3 system which seemed to bring Chelsea back to their best. That all changed when high flying Liverpool came to Stamford Bridge and produced a cool and slick performance to inflict a first defeat on Antonio Conte courtesy of a spectacular Jordan Henderson goal, ensuring Jurgen Klopp's men left with a 2-1 win. It got worse a week later at Arsenal, where a shambolic defensive display saw Arsenal romp to a 3-0 win, all scored in the first half. At that stage, Chelsea sat eighth, eight points behind then runaway leaders Manchester City and with only a +1 goal difference. Many already ruled Conte's men out the title race, having been brushed aside by two sides expected to challenge for the title.

    THE CHANGE OF SYSTEM/13 STRAIGHT WINS

    Following that thrashing at the Emirates, Conte switched to an unconventional 3-4-3 formation, a system which is more popular in leagues such as Serie A and is usually seen as questionable in the Premier League. Following a 2-0 win at Hull with the system, the rest as they say, is history. From 1st October through till 31st December, Chelsea won a record equalling 13 straight games, which included wins over reigning champions Leicester, Jose Mourinho's Manchester United whom they thumped 4-0 and a 3-1 away success at Manchester City. The Blues didn't actually go top until 20 November, where they took the summit from Liverpool with a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough. Their incredible streak came to an end after closest rivals Spurs beat them 2-0 at White Hart Lane, thanks to a Dele Alli double. At that stage, Chelsea were five points clear at the top after twenty games.

    A TESTING APRIL

    After that defeat at White Hart Lane, the Blues went on another unbeaten run lasting eight games. Going into a home fixture against relegation battlers Crystal Palace, they were ten points clear of Spurs with ten to play and were expected to easily dispatch of Sam Allardyce's side. That looked to be the case when Cesc Fabregas put them ahead, but were stunned as quick fire goals from Christian Benteke (above) and Wilfred Zaha gave Palace a shock 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge and blew the title race wide open, as Spurs also won that day to reduce the gap to seven. 

    Two weeks later, they travelled to Manchester United for a tough encounter with their former manager Jose Mourinho. United produced a tactical masterclass, goals from Macrus Rashford and Ander Herrera gave the Red Devils a 2-0 win and meant Chelsea's lead was now only four points with six games left. Spurs also had a superior goal difference, meaning Conte's side could afford no more slip ups. With tough trips to come against Everton and West Brom, the heat was fully on Chelsea.


    PASSING EVERTON TEST WITH FLYING COLOURS
    Following those defeats, many thought their trip to high flying Everton could prove their downfall. Ronald Koeman's have taken points off Spurs, Arsenal, Man United and Man City this season, and Chelsea looked to be added to that list. However, Pedro (above) scored a stunning strike from range, and further goals from Gary Cahill and Willian gave the Blues a 3-0 win at Goodison Park and restored their four point lead. It was fair to say they breezed their toughest test of their title run in.

    SPURS RELINQUISH GOLD AT THE OLYMPIC STADIUM











    5th May. Spurs had the advantage of playing three days before Chelsea, knowing victory over West Ham at the London Stadium would cut the gap to a single point. However, a disappointing performance from Tottenham, coupled with Manuel Lanzini's second half winner (above) gave the Hammers a 1-0 win and left Chelsea needing just two wins from their final four games to become champions. A truly golden chance for Pochettino's side to amp the pressure on Chelsea, their title challenge was ultimately killed on a bad Friday night in East London. To add salt to the wounds, Chelsea took full advantage of Tottenham's slip up, brushing aside Middlesbrough 3-0 on the Monday to move to within one win of the title and leaving Spurs clutching on straws.

    THE CLINCHER

    It was all set up. Friday night football saw the champions elect travel to eighth placed West Brom, knowing victory would confirm Chelsea as the new champions. The Blues dominated the game, having numerous chances but failed to break through. That was until the 82nd minute, as substitute Michy Batshuyai, a peripheral figure through the season tapped in only his second league goal of the season, but it proved to the most important one as Antonio Conte's side sealed the title. 




    In truth, Chelsea looked comfortable throughout the season once they established their 3-4-3 system and it never looked likely they were going to lose top spot, despite the excellent displays from Tottenham who formed an excellent challenge of their own. A stunning first season for Conte (above), who can also add the FA Cup and complete a remarkable league and cup double in his first season in English football.




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    Item Reviewed: The Big moment's of Chelsea's title winning season Rating: 5 Reviewed By: rob
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