Chelsea captured the Premier League Title Sunday with three games left in the season following a 1-0 victory over the visiting Crystal Palace at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s Belgian winger, Eden Hazard, scored the game’s only goal, heading in a rebound after missing a penalty, as Chelsea claims their first title in five years, fifth overall.
The victory gives Chelsea win number 25 out of 35 games on the season, putting Chelsea at 83 points and far beyond the reach of any of their oppositions. Jose Mourinho’s side have seized this title with skill, professionalism, and efficiency.
There has been no doubt since January that this was Chelsea’s title to lose. Chelsea began the season with four straight victories. They left their opponents behind with a spectacular unbeaten run that now stretches 15 matches.
Like all Jose Mourinho sides, Chelsea has been so successful in large part because of their defense. They have surrendered only 27 goals, the lowest in the Premier League. Some critics have accused Chelsea of playing a boring brand of soccer but, only Manchester City have scored more goals than Chelsea’s 69 this season.
Jose Mourinho had an epic response to this claim from critics, saying “I think it is boring 10 years without a title.”
What is most frightening about Chelsea’s success is that this year’s campaign could usher in an era of prolonged success. Chelsea has an incredibly strong and deep bench, and is backed by the financial support of Roman Abramovich.
Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho told BBC Sport after the match that “Every title is a consequence of hard work and a reason to be happy and proud. I can’t evaluate and say which was one more important. This was my last title and I try to get another one. The group starts with the Capital One Cup and the Premier League but we know in future it’s very difficult and other teams will come even stronger. England’s not the best country to be a force and dominate football.”
Chelsea started sunday’s match with a chance in the fourth minute for Didier Drogba, as Cesc Fabregas floated in a cross which, Crystal Palace goalkeeper collected hesitantly.
Crystal Palace gained confidence throughout the game, winning a number of corners over the next several minutes, but they were unable to create a clear scoring chance against Chelsea’s stellar defensive effort.
Chelsea won a penalty one minute before the half-time whistle. After a one-two was played between Willian and Hazard, the Belgian burst into the box and collapsed to the ground as he passed Palace defender, James McArthur. Replays show minimal contact and that Hazard was guilty of simulation.
Crystal Palace Manager, Alan Pardew, told BBC after the game that the penalty was a “tough call.”
Eden Hazard tool the penalty himself one minute later for Chelsea, but the shot was poor and Julian Speroni saved it easily. But the ball flew through the air back to Hazard, who easily nodded it into the corner for the game’s only goal.
Up next, Chelsea hosts Liverpool next Sunday.
[Image Source: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images]