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       Chelsea clinch sixth crown
 
         Posted on :20:51:42 May 14, 2017
   
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       Last edited on:20:51:42 May 14, 2017
         Tags: Chelsea clinch, sixth crown
 
WEST BROMWICH: Substitute Michy Batshuayi’s dramatic 82nd-minute winner gave Chelsea the Premier League title following a hard-earned 1-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion on Friday.
 
The Belgian striker’s late goal at The Hawthorns took Antonio Conte’s side 10 points clear of second-place Tottenham Hotspur, who have only nine points left to play for.
 
It is Chelsea’s second title win in three seasons, their sixth in total, and comes at the end of former Juventus and Italy coach Conte’s first season as manager.
 
Batshuayi, the understudy to Diego Costa, had only been on the pitch for seven minutes when he scored the winning goal — his first in the league since August. “It’s good. It’s the best day for Chelsea today,” said Batshuayi, who arrived from Marseille last year in a £33.2 million ($42.8 million, 39.1 million euros) transfer.
 
Conte, who claimed three Serie A titles as Juventus coach, has restored Chelsea to the winners’ circle by rebuilding from the chaotic end of Jose Mourinho’s second reign.
 
Two years after Mourinho led Chelsea to the title, Conte has stitched the London club back together after dressing-room unity unravelled under Mourinho during a horrendous title defence last season.
The Italian’s side finally broke through West Brom’s stubborn resistance with eight minutes remaining and will now chase the double when they face Arsenal in the FA Cup final on May 27.
 
Darren Fletcher’s lofted pass found Salomon Rondon and his flicked header drew a smart save from Thibaut Courtois. Chelsea quickly began applying pressure, but West Brom had a huge chance on the counter-attack when James McClean seized on a loose pass and raced 50 yards into Chelsea territory.
 
But his attempted pass to Rondon was poor and the Venezuelan was crowded out by Chelsea defenders. Chelsea were becoming frustrated in their efforts to breach the Baggies’ defence, but Fabregas nearly broke through with a snap-shot that flashed half a yard wide of the far post.
 
Chelsea might have broken the deadlock just two minutes into the second half when a powerful cross-shot from Victor Moses was turned around the post superbly by West Brom goalkeeper Ben Foster.
 
With eight minutes remaining, Chelsea finally struck as Azpilicueta broke into the West Brom box and crossed from the right for Batshuayi to force home from close range.
 
Conte charged onto the field in celebration, while West Brom stewards were forced to eject three pitch invaders before the game could be completed and Chelsea could celebrate the title.
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