From new players through to decisive wins and harsh losses, Chelsea have been through the rigours of the Premier League to claim the Premier League trophy.
Today the Daily Mail published on the Chelsea section on their website the 10 moments which set the Blues up for success.
It all started with new purchases, that during the season have proven fundamental. Mourinho identified two gaping holes in last season’s flawed side, and set about filling them immediately. Cesc Fabregas horrified his old pals in north London by becoming a Chelsea player on June 12th, with striker Diego Costa putting pen to paper on July 1st.
“Fabregas’ sublime midfield play has transformed Chelsea’s attacking movement, running away with the Premier League assists chart. In Costa, the Blues found the striker they were looking for. Ferocious, ruthless, all-action – defenders didn’t know what had hit them.”
One can’t forget to mention the first win in August against Burnley: “On the Monday night of the opening round of matches, the new-look Blues were drawing 1-1 against Premier League new boys Burnley at Turf Moor. Still one of the goals of the season, an incredible move between Hazard and Branislav Ivanovic ended with an outrageous first-time pass from Cesc Fabregas and cool finish by Andre Schurrle. Immediately, it was clear Chelsea meant business.”
Important victories against top Premier clubs: “Points at the two Manchester grounds were welcome, as was a 2-1 win at a struggling Liverpool, but it was a dominant two-goal dispatch of Arsenal at Stamford Bridge that really set the tone. Goals from Hazard and Costa were just the pick of a performance that showed off Mourinho’s vice-like hold over rival Arsene Wenger and underlined the notion that Chelsea were the team to beat this season.”
While Chelsea were playing the football many fans had been waiting for seasons to see, Mourinho pointed the finger at Blues supporters, and their lack of enthusiasm: “No-one in the press room following a routine win over QPR thought the sports pages would be plastered with comments from Mourinho about Chelsea’s support. It brought a long-term problem for the Stamford Bridge faithful uncomfortably to light, and while many feel it was wrong for the manager to slate paying punters, it undeniably had an impact.”
A tough game against in Stoke met the Chelsea side: “Physically dominating one of the most intimidating sides in the division, an early goal from John Terry and a Fabregas strike handed Chelsea a priceless win heading into Christmas. The biggest cliché in football: So this fancy dan Chelsea lot have proven they can roll over teams, but can they do it on a cold night in Stoke? Yes, in fact, they can.”
Midfield maestro Eden Hazard became “the most vital and thrilling player in the Premier League – now rightfully crowned Player of the Year.” The Mail highlighted that, “His star role in a 5-0 demolition job at Swansea in January was just one of a huge range of mesmerising performances. Despite not finding the net himself, he completely ran the game, filleting the Swans’ defence in a showcase of individual talent many Chelsea fans believe had not been at the club since Gianfranco Zola lit up Premier League pitches.”
The first triumphs arrived for Mourinho’s squad soon enough, however, as the Blues overcame London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 at Wembley, “What better way to perk things up than beating old enemy Tottenham at Wembley? Mourinho put great stock in his first League Cup in 2005 – this year’s win had the same galvanizing effect.
Without a trophy in his first season back at the club, the 2-0 triumph opened Mourinho’s tally, gave the fans something to cheer about and set a winning mentality for the rest of the campaign.”
But right after a trophy came two extremely bitter ties, with the result being Chelsea getting knocked out from Champions League: “It was hardly a feeling reverberating around Stamford Bridge after the woefully tame 1-1 draw against PSG that sent the Blues out of Europe, but it may have been a blessing in disguise.
A dodgy festive spell showed Mourinho didn’t much trust the players beyond the first choice XI. While possessing the best team in the league, Chelsea’s squad depth could have easily been put in harsh light had they been contesting Champions League ties around crucial league fixtures.”
The boring taunts gave the boost for some important wins, the most vital of course being the club’s 1-0 win against Crystal Palace to seal the title: “The free-flowing football had to give way to Mourinho’s batten-down-the-hatches, grinding-out-results shtick to ensure Chelsea got over the line. Those with short memories decried Chelsea as the ‘worst champions ever’. QPR succumbed to a late Fabregas goal. By the time of Wednesday’s 3-1 win over Leicester, the travelling support took it on as a badge of honour, bellowing it out ironically as a frantic second half all but confirmed the title’s destination.
And the last most cheerful moment, Sunday afternoon at Stamford Bridge: “It wasn’t a pretty victory against Crystal Palace, but it was enough. It was a victory that summed up the latter stages of the Blues’ season and the fact that Hazard was the man who proved the difference was only fitting.
The Special One has done it again…”