Chelsea win the Premier League: The numbers behind Blues' unsung heroes

Media playback is not supported on this device

Who are the stars who won Chelsea the title?

Chelsea's run to the Premier League title may not have had the same romance as Leicester's unlikely success last season, but there is still something to celebrate for the way they have gone about it.

Beneath the gloss provided by Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and N'Golo Kante, there is an unheralded efficiency to this Chelsea side.

BBC Sport takes a look at the players who have had a quiet impact on a title-winning season, and the unexpected areas that have sealed the championship for the Blues.

All statistics are correct as of 22:00 BST on 12 May, with Chelsea having played 36 games.

Once you have taken a look, consider how many of this current crop of Chelsea players would make it into the squad that won the club's first Premier League title in 2004-05. Use our team selector below to find out.

Combined Chelsea 04-05 and 16-17 XI

Pick your best XI from Chelsea's Premier League winners in 2004-05 and 2016-17.

Hail, Cesar!

Cesar Azpilicueta has proven his adaptability this season, moving from right-back to a position in a central-defensive three. One thing has not changed though - his reliability.

The Spain defender is one of only three outfield players to have featured in every minute of every Premier League game this season - clocking up 3,240 minutes.

His defensive colleague Gary Cahill has only missed six minutes of action, giving boss Antonio Conte a dependable duo at the back.

Fabulous Fab

When it comes to minutes played, Cesc Fabregas is way, way down the pecking order.

The former Arsenal midfielder, who has said he could have left Stamford Bridge in the summer, has started only 12 league games this term, but his impact has been substantial.

Only three players have provided more than his 11 assists in the top-flight campaign - Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne leads the way with 15, while Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea) and Christian Eriksen (Spurs) have 12.

That trio have played much more football than Fabregas, so it is no surprise that the averages show the Spaniard far outshines his rivals, with an assist every 111 minutes he has been on the pitch.

And having seen his reaction when he was told he might lose one of his assists - which Opta later gave him back - we think he'll be pretty pleased.

Cultured Cahill

Premier League defenders with highest passing accuracy
Player% of passes completed
J Stones (Man City)92%
R Klavan (Liverpool)88%
G Cahill (Chelsea)88%
L Koscielny (Arsenal)88%
N Otamendi (Man City)87%
C Azpilicueta (Chelsea)87%

You know where you stand with Gary Cahill - block it, head it, get rid of it. Right? Wrong.

The England centre-half fancies himself as a bit of a ball player, it seems.

Of all the Premier League defenders to have played at least 20 games this term, only Manchester City's John Stones has a better passing accuracy.

Good in both boxes

Not only has Cahill been composed in front of his own goal, he has been deadly at the other end too. The same can be said for Marcos Alonso who, until joining Chelsea in the summer, was best known in England for spells with Bolton and Sunderland.

The pair have six goals each this season - the only defender with more is Liverpool's James Milner, and all seven of his were from the penalty spot.

So while Costa has been grabbing the headlines for being on target 20 times, maybe his defensive team-mates deserve a bit of recognition.

Moses has forward thinking

Though Alonso has scored those six goals, it is the wing-back on the opposite flank who has been the more adventurous this season.

No Chelsea player has seen their career revitalised so sharply under Conte than Victor Moses. The Nigeria international, previously recognised as a forward in four unspectacular years at Stamford Bridge, has flourished as a right wing-back.

The 26-year-old has had 99 touches in the opposition area this season, more than any other Blues defender.

In fact, the only defender to have had more touches in the opposition box this term is Michail Antonio (122), who plays in a similar role for West Ham.

Pot-shot Pedro and friends

The old adage of not scoring if you do not shoot has been very apt for Chelsea this season.

Their tally of 12 goals scored from outside the box is a league high, with Liverpool closest on 11.

And Spain international Pedro, who leads the way for the Blues, has found the net three times from long distance.

Costa, Fabregas and Alonso have each pitched in with two.


It must be tough playing alongside the best defensive midfielder in the world.

Kante is considered the king of Hoovering up, the emperor of the track back and the don of mid-pitch duels.

Nemanja Matic gives his partner-in-midfield-hustling a run for his money, though, particularly when it comes to discipline.

Matic has been shown yellow cards to Kante's nine, and given away 33 free-kicks to 52.

And when it comes to recoveries [the number of times a player has picked up a loose ball], he is only 22 behind Kante's tally of 263.

Top Stories