A late aim from substitute Michy Batshuayi was sufficient to finish West Brom’s resistance on the Hawthorns Friday, making certain Antonio Conte’s males can’t be caught with two fixtures left to play.
CNN Sport analyzes the London membership’s spectacular rise from tenth to the title.
His ardour is infectious, and emanates from each pump of the fist.
Chelsea can conceivably end this season with ninety three factors — probably the most by any Premier League group except for Mourinho’s report-breaking aspect in 2004/05.
However how have they carried out it?
Conte used the phrase “work” 21 occasions in his first Chelsea press convention in July 2016.
The Italian made it clear that the gamers he had inherited would wish to “battle,” insisting, “Whenever you end tenth within the league … the issue is just not just one individual.”
Interim boss Guus Hiddink might have steadied the ship following his appointment in December 2015, however Chelsea nonetheless completed simply thirteen factors above the relegation zone and as near 18th as sixth.
Of the three golf equipment that made headline managerial appointments forward of this marketing campaign, the best expectations got here from Manchester.
Conte, in the meantime, quietly went about his enterprise.
He had been right here earlier than, taking cost at Juventus when the Italian membership was equally resurfacing from the abyss — coming to phrases with the “Calciopoli” corruption scandal and Juventus’ resultant demotion to Serie B.
Inside a yr, the previous midfield common had led Juve — dubbed the “Previous Woman” — to the Serie A title, the primary Italian aspect to take action unbeaten since 1979.
Conte’s affect was enough to immediate Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci to match his boss to a “hammer.”
Fellow Italian Andrea Pirlo, in the meantime, wrote in his 2014 autobiography: “When Conte speaks, his phrases assault you.”
The brand new supervisor has definitely shaken Chelsea’s fallen stars into motion.
Between August 2015 and twenty third April 2016, star participant Eden Hazard did not rating a single Chelsea objective.
Mourinho had claimed his ahead was the “greatest participant in England” however, simply as he had thrilled on his strategy to profitable the 2014/15 PFA Participant of the Yr, Hazard shortly turned symptomatic of the membership’s wider malaise.
Underneath Conte, the twisting, turning Belgian has thrown off final season’s shackles to attain 15 objectives in 34 appearances.
Now he epitomizes Chelsea’s dynamism.
This season, he has accomplished over 50% extra take-ons per recreation (dribbles previous an opposition participant) and brought twice as many photographs.
The 26-yr-previous might have handed when he picked up the ball in his personal half throughout February’s fixture towards Arsenal.
As an alternative, he shrugged off the attentions of Francis Coquelin and waltzed previous the Arsenal again line earlier than slotting previous his former teammate Petr Čech.
Diego Costa has additionally been brimming with confidence, turning into simply the third Chelsea participant to attain greater than 20 objectives in a Premier League season on multiple event — following within the footsteps of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and membership legend Didier Drogba.
There could also be murmurings of a transfer to China, however the Spaniard has stepped up when it issues, scoring the opening objective on extra events (7) than another participant within the Premier League this season.
It feels as if Chelsea’s three-zero collapse on the Emirates Stadium in September — Conte’s lowest second and heaviest defeat since his days in command of Siena — occurred a lifetime in the past.
“We’re a fantastic staff solely on paper, and never on the pitch,” he stated then, his bark decreased to a hoarse whisper. Chelsea hadn’t gained in three league video games, languished in eighth place, and seemed set for an additional season of mediocrity.
However Mourinho’s successor did not sulk or bicker. As an alternative, Conte took to the coaching pitch, steadily carried out his favored three-man protection perfected throughout three years in cost at Juventus, and went on to steer Chelsea to wins within the subsequent thirteen league matches.
Gary Cahill, David Luiz and César Azpilicueta have been reinvigorated within the again three, retaining seven consecutive clear sheets and conceding simply two league objectives between late September and the brand new yr.
In the meantime Cesc Fabregas has been used sparingly, however nonetheless notched eleven assists in simply eleven Premier League begins — turning into the primary participant to succeed in double figures in six separate campaigns.
Whereas his rivals have sought to spend to unravel issues, Chelsea’s change was not affected by a brand new beginning eleven.
The place Mourinho and Guardiola have arrived and tried to mould groups in their very own picture, Conte has constructed one of the best system from the gamers at his disposal.
It stands to purpose he might not have been afforded time to manage his tactical modifications had Chelsea been burdened by European soccer.
However subsequent season’s challenges will probably be forgotten tonight because the champagne flows and the trophy is held aloft.
He’s the fourth Italian supervisor to win the Premier League, the fourth supervisor to raise the highest-flight trophy in his first season in England, and that is his fourth consecutive championship title as a membership coach, having gained Serie A with Juventus between 2011 and 2014.
He has, in his personal phrases, reworked an “ugly duckling” right into a “swan.”
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