The Leicester City fans and players were no doubt chanting Eden Hazard’s name in the wake of Chelsea’s 2-2 draw against Tottenhem, with the Blues’ superb fightback from 2-0 down leaving Claudio Ranieri’s boys with an insurmountable lead atop the Premier League table.
The result meant the Foxes clinched their first ever Premier League title on Monday night, completing one of the greatest sporting achievements in football history after a phenomenal season.
It didn’t always appear like being their night though, with Tottenham’s first half dominance looking likely to provide us at least one more week of ‘what ifs‘.
Both teams started strongly, with Chelsea no longer the shadow of a team they had been under Jose Mourinho earlier in the campaign. Both were clearly giving it their all, with Tottenham desperate to close the gap and Chelsea equally determined to deny them.
That made it all the more shocking when Harry Kane was able to practically walk the ball into the back of the net, with his superbly timed run catching Chelsesa completely off guard. The whole back line stood there with their hands raised, waiting for the offside flag that never came as Kane rounded Asmir Begovic.
It wasn’t long before Spurs doubled their lead either, with another opportunity handed to them on a platter. Son Heung-min had acres of space down the right as he charged into the box, and there was not nearly enough pressure as he calmly slotted it past Begovic to make it 2-0.
Both teams were incredibly fired up, with tackles flying in all over the place. Chelsea were clearly frustrated at their inability to stop the Tottenham tidal wave that was threatening to engulf them, and their frustrations were only further highlighted by Spurs’ provocative antics.
Initially they were focused on Diego Costa, with Jan Vertonghen clearly looking to get a rise out of him – which he succeeded in doing. The ill will soon spread across the field though, with Erik Lamela, Moussa Dembele, and Danny Rose all getting involved in individual scuffles.
The Belgian midfielder may well be facing retrospective punishment for raking his fingernails down Costa’s face, while a couple of his teammates could face similar bans.
It was certainly a busy night for the referee, who handed out 12 yellow cards – but surprisingly no reds.
The second half was an entirely different game though, with Guus Hiddink obviously doing something right as Chelsea turned their anger into determination.
Gary Cahill got a goal back right before the hour mark, which really put the game on a knife edge. The celebrations therefore, when Eden Hazard scored his phenomenal equaliser, were incredible.
The tricky winger has been struggling this season, but his finish was one of pure class. He curled it into the top corner with a first time shot, giving Hugo Lloris absolutely no chance.
Hazard’s form towards the end of the season will please Belgium coach Marc Wilmots, as he looks to guide his side to Euro 2016 success.
There were more brawls before the end of the game, with Cesc Fabregas accusing Erik Lamela of intentionally standing on his hand. But the real scenes came at the final whistle, when a huge number of the players, staff, and management came together as they headed into the tunnel. Guus Hiddink was pushed to the floor in the commotion, and if previous experience is anything to go by it seems highly likely that both teams will be charged with failure to control their players.
The real story is obviously Leicester City though, who will have been watching the game with baited breath. The moment the final whistle went the celebrations will have really commenced, with the Premier League minnows clinching their first title in history.