Chelsea secure Premier League title in tight 1-0 win over West Brom
Chelsea have won the Premier League 2016/17 campaign following their 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion in Friday’s late-night match at the Hawthorns!
The game was fully in the Blues’ control and it was only a matter of time when the deadlock was to be broken, and on the 82th minute substitute Michy Batshuayi was the man to do it!
Loads of Blues fans had traveled all the way to West Bromwich to support Chelsea for their fifth Premier League title, and it was very noticeable with the Londoners making huge noise right from the start.
Despite the big support backing the visitors with full force, West Brom quickly reminded that they aren’t going to let Antonio Conte’s men to win the game with ease. Salomon Rondon forced Thibaut Courtois to make a big save after just 20 seconds of play as he headed a great effort towards the top corner.
Chelsea got into the game quickly after though, as the hosts found themselves under a lot of pressure on their own half. Chelsea’s confident passing play and shift moves including all attacking players caused all sorts of troubles for the Baggies’ defence, and could count themselves lucky not to have also conceded a penalty as Pedro’s cross was clearly blocked by the hand of Chris Brunt.
Of course, Chelsea weren’t the only team causing troubles, as West Brom had a few very threatening counter attacks that made some Blues fans’ hearts skip a beat or two.
The overall possession after 20 minutes was 71% for Chelsea and 29% for West Brom, which pretty well gave the verdict of how things stood on the first half.
West Brom had pretty much parked the bus into their third until the 30th minute, with their only attacks coming from quick two-or-three-man counters, making it very hard for Chelsea to find a way to play the ball through to open space.
Chelsea got a rare attempt from inside the box after 37 minutes of play, as Pedro collected the ball very well from Victor Moses’s low cross, and curled a shot with his left only to miss the net by half-a-metre. Diego Costa was also found from the area minutes later, but despite doing well to turn away from Craig Dawson, he scuffed his shot well over the bar.
Just before half-time, West Brom played a lovely piece of football and had a great chance to strike on goal in a quick 3v3 charge from the left, but David Luiz saved the day with a great defending challenge to intercept the cut-back pass.
The first half came to a close after one minute of stoppage time in a 0-0 scoreline. Chelsea eventually finished the first 45 minutes with 72 % of possession and 14 shots in total – with just one on target. WBA had collected two yellow cards, the Blues none.
A dull game for neutrals this far, but the second half was bound to be different.
The second half resumed with the same pattern of Chelsea controlling the possession and slowly looking for a breakthrough, but the first three minutes already involved more shots on target than the whole first half from the visitors. Victor Moses had an accurate snapshot saved by Ben Foster, and Diego Costa’s volley soon after was also well denied.
The Nigerian wing-back had even more powerful effort saved by the English shot-stopper following a cleared Chelsea corner, that originally came from Eden Hazard’s low cross that was almost turned into the own net by Gareth McAuley.
Antonio Conte was also starting to get frustrated on the sidelines due to the referee’s weird and inconsistent decisions. Michael Oliver didn’t book Brunt for a foul on Hazard – even despite him clapping to the official for giving the free-kick – and ruled out another penalty appeal after Costa was taken down in the box by substitute Yacob.
Chelsea’s eagerness in the attacking end was close to back-fire twice in the 70th minute mark. Rondon first fooled Luiz brilliantly and had he been any faster on the run, Azpilicueta might not have been able to catch the Venezuelan and block his shot for a corner. A minute later the Baggies were once again overpowered in the attack, but Nacer Chadli’s effort let the home fans down big time.
Conte made two big changes on the 75th minute as he took off both Eden Hazard and Pedro replacing them with Willian and Michy Batshuayi. The Italian had kept the Belgian striker long on the bench, giving him only some few minute cameos here and there, but maybe he had a plan all the time? Batshuayi was in full charge after coming on and was destined to make a difference!
After 82 minutes of play, Chelsea FINALLY broke the deadlock and who else would’ve it been than the Batman! A poor shot from Cahill turned out to be a great through ball for Azpilicueta on the right, where the Spaniard was able to slot a great low cross for Michy in front of the net. Batshuayi had no other thing on his mind than to make a contact and take Chelsea to the title!
Chelsea did brilliantly to hold on to their lead, as West Brom kept coming and coming – doing their everything to ruin the Blues’ party. A five minute stoppage time was not enough for the hosts, and Chelsea HAVE DONE IT!
Antonio Conte’s men have achieved something so, so brilliant, as they’ve secured the fifth Premier League title in the club’s history! What a game, what a season, what a team! COME ON CHELSEA!
CAMPEONES, CAMPEONES, OLÉ OLÉ OLÉ!