Chelsea clinch their 5th title of the current Premier League era by beating West Brom 1-0 at the Hawthorns after Michi Batshuayi scored the winner eight minutes from time to send Conte and many others in Chelsea colours crazy.
West Brom frustrated the champions-elect for most parts of the game with tight defence and occasionally testing Courtois’ goal. Chelsea probed throughout and Conte’s change to bring Batshuayi on proved pivotal as the Belgian slid through and scored the goal that propels his team to an unassailable 10-point lead over their 2nd-placed rivals Tottenham with 2 games to play.
Conte subbed Hazard and Pedro for Batshuayi as the Italian stated post-match that he felt both players were tired and needed change to add more energy to the front line. The Belgian who hasn’t yet had a Premier League start comes up trumps for his manager when it needed.
Very early on, Salomon Rondon forced Courtois into a good save but the game never sparked from there on. Chelsea dominated possession as expected but never probed through the Albion defence, attempts were aplenty from the visitors but nearly all from outside the box. 71% possession with 14 attempts at goal for Chelsea but Foster didn’t make in noticeable save in that first half.
Conte’s men came out of the blocks quicker in the second half with renewed intent and Moses almost got them ahead early in the half only for Foster to make a good low save. Just about an hour mark when West Brom got a bit lucky from a Hazard cross which was deflected towards Chris Brunt and the ball anyhow got cleared off the line, the follow-up shot from Moses was straight at Foster.
West Brom never threatened the Chelsea for most parts of the game but they had their moment in the 70 minute when Rondon managed to spin past Luiz and go through at goal, but Cahill did very well to recover and force a corner much to the frustration of the Venezuelan. Moments after that, Rondon was involved in another counter-attack when he passed the ball towards Livermore who then squared it to Chadli but the shot from the former Tottenham man was dragged wide of Courtois’ goal.
Conte then made the double substitution replacing ‘tired’ Hazard and Pedro with Willian and Batshuayi. Moments later, in the 82nd minute, that move paid off from the Italian. Chelsea eventually found the goal when Cahill’s scuffed shot stayed in and was tracked down by Azpilicueta, who then sent in a low cross across the six-yard box and Batshuayi slid through to set off wild celebrations everywhere related to Chelsea Football Club.
The season isn’t over for Conte and his men as there is a distinct possibility of them doing a double when they face rivals Arsenal in the FA Cup final 14 days from now. This is Chelsea’s sixth English league title, a fifth of the current Premier League era.