It took a substitute and more than 81 minutes for Chelsea to find a way through West Brom Friday night, but Michy Batshuayi’s goal was the difference in a Blues’ 1-0 win, and that victory clinched the 2016-2017 Premier League title.
It is the fifth Premier League championship for Chelsea, who is now on 87 points and 10 clear of Tottenham, who can only pick up nine in their last three games of the season.
— CHAMPIONS! ? (@ChelseaFC) May 12, 2017
Antonio Conte’s club will face Watford and Sunderland, both at home, to end the season. It’s the Italian’s fourth title in his last four seasons in charge of a club, having won three straight Serie A crowns with Juventus in 2012-2014 before managing Italy.
He also joins Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Manuel Pellegrini as managers who won a title in their first season in the Premier League.
“It’s a good achievement for the players,” he told Sky Sports 1. “I have to say thanks for their commitment and their work rate during the season. They showed me great attitude, great patience. And the will to decide to do something great.”
Chelsea won the title in 2015 under Jose Mourinho, but sputtered to a 10th-place finish last season.
It didn’t look like it was going to be Chelsea’s day against a team mired in a six-match losing streak coming into Friday’s contest. But Tony Pulis’s Baggies frustrated the Blues for long stretches of Friday’s match.
But it was Batshuayi’s second goal all season, on a cross from Cesar Azpilicueta, that was the decider.
WATCH: Chelsea's potential title winner. https://t.co/hARycokfKG
— The Comeback-Soccer (@TCBsoccer) May 12, 2017
For the second consecutive season, Tottenham was the primary challenger for the eventual title winners, but a poor run of recent form has them on the outside looking in once again.
The most recent loss to West Ham was particularly damaging.
“Before that game we believed everything was possible. After that game it was difficult to lift everyone,” Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino told The Sun.