Chelsea has won the 2016-17 Premier League title courtesy of a hard-fought 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Friday.
It took until the 82nd minute for them to get the all-important goal as Michy Batshuayi became Chelsea’s unlikely hero.
Chelsea’s only shot on target of the first half arrived after 25 minutes, and even that never truly troubled Ben Foster in the West Brom goal as he comfortably scooped up Cesar Azpilicueta’s tame effort.
Cesc Fabregas – who kept his place in the side ahead of fit-again N’Golo Kante following his man-of-the-match performance against Middlesbrough on Monday night – came as close as anyone to breaking the deadlock in the first half when he drilled a low strike narrowly wide of the far post shortly after the half-hour mark.
After an underwhelming first half that failed to lived up to the expected party atmosphere, Chelsea made a quicker start to the second half and Foster was called into his first testing save within two minutes of the restart when he got down well to tip a Victor Moses drive around the post.
The West Brom keeper was called into action again one minute later, but this time it was a more routine stop as he gathered Diego Costa’s attempted bicycle kick.
West Brom were fortunate to avoid an own goal when Craig Dawson turned the ball against a teammate when looking to intercept a low Hazard cross, before Moses stung the palms of Foster with a powerful long-range drive moments later.
The defining moment came with just eight minutes remaining of the contest, though, and it was Batshuayi – on as part of a double change which was Eden Hazard and Pedro replaced – who grabbed the title-winning goal at the end of the largely frustrating season on a personal level.
Gary Cahill’s sliced effort found its way to Cesar Azpilicueta, who turned the ball back into the middle for an unmarked Batshuayi to sweep home for just his second Premier League goal of the season.
That proved to be enough as Chelsea saw out the game to wrap up their sixth top-flight title and fifth in the past 13 season.
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