Chelsea's 2016/17 title-winning season, month-by-month

Sport360 staff 13/05/2017

Chelsea secured the Premier League title on Friday after substitute Michy Batshuayi's 82nd-minute goal earned Antonio Conte's side a hard-earned 1-0 victory at West Bromwich Albion.

The Belgian striker's late goal at The Hawthorns took Chelsea 10 points clear of second-place Tottenham Hotspur, who have only nine points left to play for.

Here, we look at their journey to the title dating back to the start of the season in August.

AUGUST

Antonio Conte's reign began with a 2-1 win over West Ham as the first of three Premier League wins in the month. Watford were beaten 2-1 and Burnley 3-0, while the Blues also advanced in the EFL Cup with victory over Bristol Rovers.

Month league record: Played three, won three.

League position: Second, behind Manchester City on goal difference.

SEPTEMBER

A 2-2 draw at Swansea was followed by defeat at home to Liverpool and a 3-0 loss at Arsenal - after a League Cup win at Leicester - which prompted Conte to take action. Three down at half-time, Conte tinkered with his tactics, installing a 3-4-3 formation.

Month league record: Played three, drew one, lost two.

League position: Eighth, eight points behind leaders City.

OCTOBER

Chelsea scored 11 goals without reply in four league wins, the highlight being the 4-0 defeat of Jose Mourinho's Manchester United. The one blot was the EFL Cup loss at West Ham, when Conte deployed a much-changed line-up.

Month league record: Played four, won four.

League position: Fourth, one point behind leaders City.

NOVEMBER

Everton were beaten 5-0 and Chelsea won 1-0 at Middlesbrough before dispatching Tottenham 2-1 in a closely contested game. The defeat of Spurs extended the winning run in the Premier League to seven games, with 19 goals scored and one conceded.

Month league record: Played three, won three.

League position: First, one point clear of City and Liverpool.

DECEMBER

Chelsea enhanced their title credentials with a 3-1 win at City, before 1-0 victories over West Brom, Sunderland and Crystal Palace. Bournemouth were beaten and a calendar-year ending defeat of Stoke extended the league winning run to 13 games.

Month league record: Played six, won six.

League position: First, six points clear of second-placed Liverpool.

JANUARY

Defeat at Tottenham halted Chelsea's bid for a league record-winning sequence, but the Blues won at Leicester, beat Hull and drew at Liverpool while also seeing off Peterborough and Brentford in the FA Cup.

Month league record: Played four, won two, drew one, lost one.

League position: First, nine points clear of Tottenham and Arsenal.

FEBRUARY

Chelsea improved their advantage over Arsenal – and avenged the defeat in the reverse fixture - with a 3-1 win. Progress was slowed by a 1-1 draw at Burnley but a 3-1 defeat of Swansea followed FA Cup progress at Wolves.

Month league record: Played three, won two, drew one.

League position: First, 10 points clear of second-placed Tottenham.

MARCH

Another 'wrong' was corrected, with a 2-1 win at West Ham followed by a 2-1 victory at Stoke. There was also a 1-0 success over Mourinho's United in a fiery FA Cup quarter-final as Chelsea's mettle was tested and the double dream remained.

Month league record: Played two, won two.

League position: First, 10 points clear of second-placed Spurs.

APRIL

The jitters set in as Chelsea stumbled to a surprise 2-1 home loss to struggling Crystal Palace and then lost at Manchester United to see their lead over Tottenham cut to four points. There were league victories over Manchester City, Bournemouth, Southampton and at Everton, plus a FA Cup semi-final defeat of Spurs.

Month league record: Played six, won four, lost two.

League position: First, four points clear of Tottenham in second place.

MAY

Victory over Middlesbrough, condemning their opponents to relegation, re-established a seven-point lead as Tottenham had lost at West Ham. And Chelsea reclaimed the title at the first attempt, beating West Brom.

Month league record: Play two, won two.

League position: First, with an unassailable lead.

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How do Chelsea stars rate this season?

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How the Blues rated this season.

While star performers like Eden Hazard, Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and N’Golo Kante are obvious standouts this season, how have the rest of the Blues’ squad fared alongside them?

Each and every Chelsea star has been rated…

Do you agree with the ratings?

Share with us your thoughts on Twitter and Facebook.

FIRST-TEAM SQUAD

Thibaut Courtois (goalkeeper): Made some decisive interventions and did well. Distribution of the ball and presence at set-pieces could be improved. 7/10.

Asmir Begovic (goalkeeper): Showed his pedigree when called upon, but almost certain to leave for first-team football this summer, with Bournemouth a possible destination. 6.

Marcos Alonso (left wing-back): Derided at times, but masterful at others. Scored crucial goals and provided balance and consistency for the team. 7.

Cesc Fabregas (midfielder): Showed time and again that his vision and ability to play a decisive pass is as good as ever. Occasionally showed flashes of Frank Lampard-style finishing. May be frustrated with a lack of game time. 8.

Kurt Zouma (defender): Showed his potential before a serious knee injury which delayed his return under Antonio Conte. He did not progress as he may have hoped and may leave on loan next term. 5.

Nathan Ake (defender): Recalled from loan at Bournemouth in January and performed well when fleetingly called upon. Now must convince Conte he can cut it in the first team. 6.

N’Golo Kante (midfielder): A brilliant acquisition from Leicester. The France international excelled time and again, showing his influence in attack and defence. 9.

Eden Hazard (forward): Back to a best which has seen him again linked with a £100million move to Real Madrid. Chelsea will want to keep the playmaker, who sparkled with his best goal return – some of them stunning. 9.

Pedro (forward): Hit and miss in his first season, the former Barcelona forward showed his talents this term. Scored decisive goals and used his scintillating pace to great effect. 8.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek (midfielder): This was the season the Chelsea academy graduate, awarded a new contract last year, was expected to forge on, but he had few chances. Expect a loan next term. 5.

Victor Moses (right wing-back): Conte recognised something in the Nigeria international other bosses had not and, after numerous loans, Moses converted from winger to wing-back and excelled. 8.

Diego Costa (striker): Both sides of Costa’s Jekyll and Hyde character were evident as he enjoyed a rich scoring streak and then agitated for a move to China. Chelsea may now cash in on the striker. 8.

Nemanja Matic (midfielder): After an indifferent season last term, the Serbia international showed his importance anchoring the midfield with Kante. Scored a wonder goal in the FA Cup semi-final. 8.

Willian (midfielder): The only Chelsea player whose reputation grew in 2015-16, the Brazil playmaker was in and out of the team, partly due to personal tragedy as his mother died. Still showed flashes of his best. 7.

Michy Batshuayi (striker): Much was expected of the £33million signing from Marseille. But Conte appeared to lack trust in him as so often his league appearances came in stoppage time. Patience needed, but will he get it? 5.

Gary Cahill (defender): Has won every major club honour with Chelsea and captained England. Showed his consistency without the errors of the past. A natural heir to John Terry. 8.

John Terry (defender): The club captain started the season in the team, but injury and form soon saw him fall out of favour. Terry did not make a fuss and leaves Chelsea, after 22 years, as a champion. 6.

Cesar Azpilicueta (defender): Mr Consistency. Rivals Kante for energy and dependability. Now appreciated for his regularly excellent performances. 9.

Nathaniel Chalobah (midfielder): Played well when called upon, but unable to dislodge Matic, Kante or Fabregas in the league. One for the future. 6.

David Luiz (defender): Returned with a question mark over his defensive ability. Provided the answers emphatically to shine in Conte’s back three as the base of Chelsea’s spine. 9.

Ola Aina (defender): Made fleeting substitute appearances as he experienced the first team squad for the first time. 5.

AND HERE ARE THE STARS WHO ARE NO LONGER AT THE WEST LONDON CLUB

DEPARTED PLAYERS

Branislav Ivanovic (defender): No longer the dependable, athletic figure of the past, he began to struggle before leaving for Zenit St Petersburg in Russia in January. 4.

John Obi Mikel (midfielder): Did not appear for Conte’s Chelsea after prioritising the Olympics with Nigeria and left for China’s Tianjin TEDA in January. 4.

Oscar (midfielder): The brilliance of the Brazilian was evident all too infrequently and Chelsea cashed in as he moved to Shanghai SIPG. 6.

Source: Press Association.

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From defeat to Arsenal to the 4-0 win over Man United the key games in Chelsea's Premier League title win

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Chelsea have won the Premier League title.

Here we look at the five key games in their title triumph.

Arsenal (A) L 0-3, September 24

When Arsenal took a three-goal half-time lead over Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in the fifth game of the season, many wondered if this was the revival of the Gunners and if the Blues’ worries would deepen after their 10th-placed finish last campaign. For Antonio Conte a second successive loss was the catalyst for change – to a 3-4-3 formation and thereafter a 13-match winning run in the league.

Manchester United (H) W 4-0, October 23

Three games after the Arsenal defeat came the visit of Manchester United and Chelsea’s most successful manager, Jose Mourinho. The Blues showed elan in a comprehensive victory as the 20th anniversary of Matthew Harding’s death overshadowed Mourinho’s return. Afterwards the Portuguese boss complained about Conte calling for home supporters to raise their voices with Chelsea four goals ahead.

Manchester City (A) W 3-1, December 3

After impressively beating Everton and Tottenham at home, Chelsea faced a further test of their credentials at Manchester City, where Conte came up against Pep Guardiola. City dominated the first hour but Chelsea rallied brilliantly in victory. The match ended with a bench-clearing melee following a Sergio Aguero tackle on David Luiz. Chelsea were united and winning.

Tottenham (A) L 0-2, January 4

Dele Alli’s double for Tottenham denied Chelsea a record-breaking 14th consecutive Premier League win and saw the Blues miss the chance to open up an eight-point lead. Conte was undaunted by the loss, insisting it was different from those in September to Liverpool and Arsenal and that his players were now a team.

Everton (A) W 3-0, April 30

Chelsea’s lead over Spurs had been cut to four points by losses to Crystal Palace and Manchester United earlier in the month, and many wondered if a further wobble would come at Goodison Park. Everton away appeared, on paper, to be the toughest remaining assignment, but Chelsea scored three times in the final quarter of the game to take a big step towards the title.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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