Premier League
Chelsea1Crystal Palace0

Chelsea 1-0 Crystal Palace

Eden Hazard
Hazard scored his 19th goal of the season from a penalty rebound

Chelsea secured the Premier League title by beating Crystal Palace at an ecstatic Stamford Bridge.

Jose Mourinho's side needed three points to complete the triumph that has become an inevitability in recent weeks as they moved out of sight of their rivals to reclaim the crown from Manchester City, who are 13 points adrift despite their win at Tottenham.

Victory was secured by Eden Hazard's goal on the stroke of half-time, the Belgian heading past Julian Speroni after the Palace goalkeeper had saved the PFA Player of the Year's penalty.

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That gave Mourinho his third title as Chelsea manager, and the first of his second spell in charge. It is the club's fifth top-flight title and comes five years after their last and 60 years since their first.

The celebrations that swept around Stamford Bridge at the final whistle were fully deserved for a Chelsea side who have set the pace since the start of the season.

They played with flair and verve to make an all-conquering start then showed the ruthless efficiency that is the hallmark of all Mourinho sides after losing leading scorer Diego Costa for a crucial closing phase of the campaign.

Total Premier League title wins (since 1992)
13: Manchester United2: Manchester City
4: Chelsea1: Blackburn Rovers
3: Arsenal

At the head of it all was the master strategist Mourinho, adding the title to the Capital One Cup won against Tottenham at Wembley and vindicating Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich's decision to turn, once again, to the manager who brought him his first successes with titles in 2004-05 and 2005-06.

Banners were draped from the Shed End at Stamford Bridge in honour of Mourinho, bearing slogans such as: "The Special One - He's One Of Us." And while the Portuguese may be a divisive figure elsewhere, there is no doubting his heroic status at Chelsea after the successes he has engineered.

The statistics back up Mourinho's brilliance as this was his eighth title in 12 years with Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

This decisive victory over Palace may not have been achieved with sparkling football but the title win was closed out with the nerveless professionalism of a team that knew what needed to be done and did it - as they have so often.

Chelsea
Chelsea were previously champions in 1955, 2005, 2006 and 2010

And when it was done and hundreds of blue streamers littered the Stamford Bridge turf before Chelsea's elated players took a lap of honour with Abramovich looking on, the challenge was laid down to the chasing pack to respond to the domination Mourinho has now re-established in west London.

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Chelsea's title win has been built on a mixture of the old guard, such as inspirational captain John Terry, who has rolled back the years magnificently, and the newer breed, such as the brilliant Hazard and those key summer signings Cesc Fabregas and Costa.

The chants of "Boring Boring Chelsea" - started by Arsenal's fans and repeated here by Palace supporters - carry a hollow ring as Mourinho's side have proved without question that they are the Premier League's outstanding side led by the Premier League's outstanding manager.

They were forced to make a late adjustment to their starting line-up when Ramires was taken ill and Juan Cuadrado was drafted in.

For all the energy on the pitch and expectation off it, the first half was a non-event until Hazard's penalty - apart from some wayward handling from Palace keeper Speroni, who fumbled Didier Drogba's free-kick having almost let in Nemanja Matic with a wild punch.

Mourinho's front-runners
Chelsea have spent 253 days at the top of the Premier League table to date this season
Only Chelsea in 2005-06 (257 days) and Manchester United in 1993-94 (262 days) have been at the top of the table for longer in a single Premier League campaign

The deadlock was broken right on half-time when Hazard surged into the area before tumbling theatrically under James McArthur's challenge.

Palace clearly felt Hazard made the most of slight contact - which he certainly did - and their frustration increased when the Belgian reacted first after his penalty was saved by Speroni, heading the rebound past the stranded keeper.

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There was the sense of the inevitable about proceedings as Chelsea moved towards a triumphant conclusion after the break, with only a Jason Puncheon shot that flew inches wide and a Wilfried Zaha effort that was blocked by Thibaut Courtois threatening to delay the coronation.

All the tension and pressure of the final few weeks were released when referee Kevin Friend blew his whistle, the normally impassive Abramovich punching the air as Chelsea returned to the pinnacle of the domestic game.

Roman Abramovich
Chelsea have won four Premier League titles since Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003
Jordon Mutch and Branislav Ivanovic
Jordon Mutch and Branislav Ivanovic were involved in a first-half confrontation
Alan Pardew and Jose Mourinho
Alan Pardew had won five of his previous six away league games as Palace boss
Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard headed in the rebound after his penalty had been saved
Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard had scored each of his previous nine league penalties for Chelsea

Line-ups

Chelsea

  • 13Courtois
  • 2IvanovicBooked at 27mins
  • 24Cahill
  • 26TerryBooked at 38mins
  • 28Azpilicueta
  • 4Fàbregas
  • 21Matic
  • 23Ju CuadradoSubstituted forMikelat 45'minutes
  • 22WillianSubstituted forZoumaat 85'minutes
  • 10E HazardSubstituted forFilipe Luísat 90+2'minutes
  • 11Drogba

Substitutes

  • 1Cech
  • 3Filipe Luís
  • 5Zouma
  • 6Aké
  • 12Mikel
  • 18Remy
  • 36Loftus-Cheek

Crystal Palace

  • 1Speroni
  • 3MariappaBooked at 45minsSubstituted forKellyat 60'minutes
  • 6DannBooked at 23mins
  • 27Delaney
  • 2Ward
  • 42PuncheonSubstituted forSanogoat 71'minutes
  • 18McArthur
  • 28Ledley
  • 11Zaha
  • 22MutchSubstituted forMurrayat 61'minutes
  • 7Bolasie

Substitutes

  • 4Hangeland
  • 9Sanogo
  • 13Hennessey
  • 15Jedinak
  • 17Murray
  • 24Lee
  • 34Kelly
Referee:
Kevin Friend
Attendance:
41,566

Match Stats

Home TeamChelseaAway TeamCrystal Palace
Possession
Home62%
Away38%
Shots
Home17
Away8
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home3
Away6
Fouls
Home12
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Chelsea 1, Crystal Palace 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Chelsea 1, Crystal Palace 0.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Didier Drogba (Chelsea).

  4. Post update

    Martin Kelly (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Filipe Luis replaces Eden Hazard.

  7. Post update

    Delay in match John Terry (Chelsea) because of an injury.

  8. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by John Terry.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Kurt Zouma.

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Yaya Sanogo.

  11. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Nemanja Matic.

  12. Post update

    Foul by John Terry (Chelsea).

  13. Post update

    Glenn Murray (Crystal Palace) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Eden Hazard (Chelsea) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by César Azpilicueta.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Chelsea. Kurt Zouma replaces Willian.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Yannick Bolasie (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Glenn Murray.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Willian (Chelsea) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Cesc Fàbregas.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Crystal Palace. Conceded by Thibaut Courtois.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Yaya Sanogo.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Yaya Sanogo (Crystal Palace) with an attempt from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Yannick Bolasie with a cross.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Chelsea35258269274283
2Man City35217771363570
3Arsenal33207663323167
4Man Utd35198859352465
5Liverpool351871049381161
6Tottenham35177115550558
7Southampton351761248282057
8Swansea35158124344-153
9West Ham351211124342147
10Stoke35138143944-547
11Everton351111134646044
12Crystal Palace35119154248-642
13West Brom351010153346-1340
14Aston Villa3598182950-2135
15Newcastle3598183660-2435
16Hull34810163245-1334
17Leicester3597193954-1534
18Sunderland34615132850-2233
19QPR3576223961-2227
20Burnley35511192653-2726
View full Premier League table

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