Chelsea secured their fourth Premier League title and first in five years with a comfortable 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.
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Perhaps fittingly, after the ‘boring’ furore over the past week it was fitting the Blues lifted the trophy on the back of a defensively robust, disciplined, and at times mundane, display.
Perhaps just to emphasise Mourinho’s penchant for defensive solidity over attacking flair, Chelsea finished the game with three holding midfielders on the pitch with the likes of Zouma and John Obi Mikel brought on for their more attacking counterparts in Juan Cuadrado and Willian. Even Filipe Luis got in on the action today, replacing Hazard with just seconds to go.
Maybe Jose was simply trying to make a point. It’s these kind of displays that win titles. You can play all the delightful and creative football you want but in the end a title will come down to how many goals you concede.
Palace midfielder Jason Mutch got away with a kick early on in the game against Branislav Ivanovic that perhaps should have seen him receive a yellow or even sent off.
The Blues weren’t at their indomitable best, and this wasn’t the kind of form they showed earlier in the season, but then they didn’t have to be – especially when Palace handed them a penalty with a quite cynical tackle on Hazard just before half time.
The Belgian himself took the spot-kick, and it was quite awful in truth, perhaps the pressure had got to him given the occasion but he was on hand to guide a wonderful header from the rebound away from Speroni and give Chelsea the lead.
The Blues had a number of chances in the second-half, whilst Palace themselves showed the kind of form that has won them many plaudits under Alan Pardew’s tenure but in the end it was always going to be Chelsea’s day.
Cue the dramatic celebrations.