Reigning champions Chelsea crowned Leicester City, and their former manager Claudio Ranieri, with the title after holding Tottenham to a feisty 2-2 draw.
In one of sports most magical fairy-tales, a dramatic fightback from Chelsea secured Leicester their first league title in their 132-year history, as Tottenham lost their cool with 9 yellow cards.
After Spurs scored two first-half goals through Kane and Son, it looked like the pressure would be back on Leicester on Saturday, but Chelsea dug deep in what became a series of personal duels, as Hazard and Chelsea gave their former manager the ultimate reward.
After Leicester could only draw to Manchester United yesterday evenimg, Tottenham knew they could close the gap on first place with a win.
The side in the way was Chelsea, who Tottenham have not beaten at Stamford Bridge since 1990, but it was the North London side with the form.
Cahill, looking to preserve history, got a free header for the game’s early chance, whilst Fabregas steered his shot wide of Lloris’ goal, as Tottenham looked cagey in the opening stages.
They settled into their stride soon after, with Son and Rose getting long-range drives away, but Chelsea hit back through Costa and again Cahill was proving to be a nuisance at corners.
It was the visitors who got the game’s first goal though, with Kane timing his run to perfection as Terry, returning from injury, was a yard off the pace in playing his fellow countryman onside. Kane rounded Begovic to score his 25th league goal of the season.
It had been coming, with Tottenham’s pace putting into question Hiddink’s judgement to start with the slow defensive pairing of Cahill and Terry, but Chelsea looked to hit back instantly from a throw-in as Vertonghen was caught sleeping but the Spaniard was too slow to get a shot away.
Lamela and Son nearly squirmed the ball in after a melee in the Chelsea penalty area before Cahill hacked the ball away, as the tension rose.
One became two through Son, again found clean through to rifle home an easy goal as Begovic was beaten at his near post.
But no team has lost more Premier League games when leading by 2 or moregoals at half-time than Spurs, and the second half was Chelsea’s, and in particular Eden Hazard’s. Though his introduction was with a weak shot, he teamed up well with Costa and Willian and it was his energy which sent Tottenham into havoc as the game became scrappy. Lamela was fourth in the book for scything down Fabregas.
Cahill headed home to get Chelsea back into the game after losing Toby Alderweireld from a corner, but Tottenham had their chances as both Mason and Eriksen has one-on-one opportunities.
The momentum swung back in Chelsea’s favour and Fabregas and Hazard nearly combined for Costa, who was inches away from sliding in.
The equaliser came in the 83rd minute.
Superb work from Costa and Oscar saw the ball run to Hazard, who latched onto it first time to loop the ball over Lloris. It was his first Premier League goal in 365 days at Stamford Bridge, the last being the goal at Crystal Palace to win Chelsea the title.
It set up a frenetic final few moments as Tottenham got rough, but Chelsea hung on and Claudio Ranieri will toast this one with many more pizzas.
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Man of the Match
EDEN HAZARD: After Hazard’s dreadful season, he was laughed at for coming out a few weeks ago and saying he did not want Tottenham to win the title, but whilst he talked the talk he most definitely walked the walk in his 45-minute cameo. Tore Tottenham to pieces and it is refreshing to see he has not lost his quick turn of pace. Took his goal expertly and will enjoy this one; it was arguably his best performance in a Chelsea shirt this season. 8/10
Hiddink was in contact with Ranieri straight after: “Just after the game I got a call from Ranieri and he thanked us for what we did in the second half. I congratulated him for being champions and they deserve it. I didn’t see any tears because it wasn’t a FaceTime conversation but his voice was trembling a bit. He said thanks five times.”
Pochettino was dignified: “First of all I congratulate Leicester and Claudio Ranieri and his players and supporters. Disappointed because at 2-0 up in the first half, in the second half we have to counter and score the third but this happens. Very disappointed but at the same time very proud of my players.”
Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had five years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.
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