Manager Antonio Conte has truly led a revival at Chelsea this season, ultimately finishing as Premier League champions after a 1-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion Friday evening. A late winner from striker Michy Batshuayi (82’) secured the Blues’ second title in the past three campaigns.
Chelsea Capture Premier League Title
A visit to the Hawthorns is normally a tense and physical affair, with Friday certainly being no exception. The Baggies and manager Tony Pulis kept their shape well and frustrated Chelsea’s attack early on. The key moment in the match was Conte’s decision to shuffle his line-up in the second half.
With difficulties breaking down the West Brom defence, Willian and Batshuayi were introduced for Eden Hazard and Pedro Rodriguez. Both substitutes were able to create space and influence chances in the final third.
A momentary lapse from the opposing back-line allowed Cesar Azpilicueta to find Batshuayi for the goal that brought the Premier League trophy back to Stamford Bridge.
Praise for Conte
A manager’s first season in English football is rarely an immediate success, even for the most accomplished of individuals. With that thought in mind, Antonio Conte’s effect in the current term has been massive leading up to Chelsea’s impressive achievement.
The Italian tactician has found the best in his players, from the switch to a 3-4-3 formation to motivating those who experienced negativity in last season’s calamitous ending. Eden Hazard has returned to his scintillating best, while the likes of Victor Moses have been rejuvenated by Conte’s approach and team management.
Chelsea now shift focus to capturing the double with an FA Cup final victory against Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on May 27.
A European return
The approaching months will certainly be interesting for the Blues, as they will now prepare to make a triumphant return to the UEFA Champions League for next season.
Their current squad boasts tremendous talent, but Roman Abramovich will want to ensure that his squad can compete for both domestic and European glory during the 2017-18 campaign.
At this point a year ago, Chelsea’s future appeared surprisingly uncertain. But with the right manager in place and players performing at the highest of levels, the London club are once again at the top of the Premier League.