CHELSEA bid farewell to John Terry as they lifted the Premier League trophy following a routine 3-1 win over relegated Sunderland.
The Blues wrapped up the title over a week ago with a 1-0 win against West Brom but were only able to get their hands on the cup today in front of a packed house at Stamford Bridge.
Captain Terry was also given a warm farewell on his final league appearance for Chelsea, earning a place in the starting XI before being subbed in the 26th minute to a guard of honour and standing ovation.
But the veteran skipper was full of smiles as the champagne bottles sprayed across the pitch as Antonio Conte and his team celebrated a terrific season.
Terry was joined on the pitch by his wife and children as he bid farewell to the Stamford Bridge faithful, with the party getting fully underway across west London.
All players eventually welcome their families on the field too as Queen’s ‘We Are The Champions’ was blasted around the arena.
The Blues won an impressive 30 of their 38 league games, giving them a grand total of 93 points.
Stars including N’Golo Kante, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa were loudly cheered by fans as Chelsea celebrated their second title triumph in just three years.
However, the day didn’t go all Chelsea’s way, with Sunderland taking an early lead through Javier Manquillo after just three minutes.
However, the Black Cats’ lead was gone five minutes later when Willian fired home to equalise.
Eden Hazard finally put Chelsea ahead with half an hour to play with a brilliant goal before Pedro and Michy Batshuayi’s fabulous brace made sure of the points late on.
It means Chelsea have won 30 matches this season, handing them a hugely impressive points tally of 93.
All eyes will now be on Saturday’s FA Cup final against Arsenal, who will be without Laurent Koscielny after the Frenchman was sent off against Everton.
As for Sunderland, they will now be preparing for life in the Championship as David Moyes looks to bounce back to the top flight straight away.
FACTS, STATS, GOALS AND LOLS
- John Terry was given a guard of honour onto the pitch by Sunderland’s players and another by his Chelsea team-mates when he was subbed to a standing ovation on the 26th minute.
- The Chelsea captain established a new record when he lifted the Premier League trophy for the fifth time. He had previously shared that honour with Manchester United’s Roy Keane.
- Sunderland clearly hadn’t read the last-day script for Terry’s testimonial, with Javier Manquillo taking advantage of the skipper’s failure to react to fire the visitors into a shock third minute lead.
- Claudio Ranieri was among the Stamford Bridge crowd to wave farewell to his former captain. On the final day of last season it was the Italian getting a guard of honour here as he led out his Leicester Champions.
- Diego Costa was up to his old tricks, twice whacking John O’Shea in the face with a wayward arm and then throwing himself to the ground clutching his face. Next season’s diving ban cannot come quickly enough.
- This was David Moyes’ 499th game as a Premier League manager. It could be a very long time before he reaches his half century.
- Chelsea’s Under-18s also paraded their League and FA Youth Cup trophies around the stadium at half-time. It is probably the last time any of them will ever been seen at Stamford Bridge.
- Jermain Defoe was ruled out by a slight hamstring strain and is unlikely to be seen in a Sunderland shirt again. Keeper Jordan Pickford is also likely to leave, but at least the travelling fans got a chance to wave goodbye to him.
- Costa made almost as much of a drama about his second-half substitution as Terry had done earlier. Don’t us that he’s leaving as well.
- Chelsea set another record with 30th Premier League win of the season. They finish with 93 points, the second-highest ever in a 38-game season and 69 points above bottom of the table Sunderland.
THE BIG PICTURE
DREAM TEAM RATINGS
Chelsea: Courtois 6, Azpilicueta 7, Luiz 7, Terry 5 (Cahill 6), Moses 7, Fabregas 7, Kante 7, Alonso 7, Willian 8, Costa 6 (Batshuayi 8), Hazard 8 (Pedro 7)
Subs not used: Begovic, Zouma, Matic, Chalobah
Sunderland: Pickford 4, Jones 5, O’Shea 5, Lescott 5, Manquillo 6, Larsson 6, Cattermole 6 (Gibson 5), Rodwell 6, Oviedo 6, Januzaj 6 (Gooch 5), Borini 6
Subs not used: Mannone, Love, Asoro, Maja, Embleton
Star Man: Eden Hazard
WHAT THEY SAID
Departing Chelsea captain John Terry: “Today is one of the most difficult days of my life.
“I’ve been very fortunate to work with some unbelievable players and managers throughout my career. I’m thankful to every single one of them.
“We all have to thank Roman Abramovich. I’d like to thank him and all the board. He’s the best owner in world football.”
“I’d like to thank my wife and kids for supporting me in this amazing journey I’ve had.
“You are the best supporters in the world, without a shadow of a doubt. You’ve given me everything. You picked me up when I was down, sung my name when I had a bad game and disappointed you.
“I’ll come back here one day, supporting the team for years to come.”
- Chelsea are the first side to win 30 games in a single Premier League season.
- Sunderland have lost 23 Premier League games against the Blues; against no other side have they lost more (also 23 defeats v Manchester United).
- Chelsea have won home and away against 12 different teams in the Premier League this season. This equals the record in a Premier League season alongside Chelsea in 2004-05 and Manchester United in 2006-07.
- Javier Manquillo’s goal, timed at 2:46, was Sunderland’s fastest in the Premier League since Wahbi Khazri v Manchester United on 13th February 2016 (2:28).
- Manquillo’s goal was his first in his 67th appearance in league football (Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Marseille and Sunderland).
- Willian has scored eight Premier League goals this season, one more than in his previous two campaigns combined (7).
- Chelsea have kept just one clean sheet in their last eight Premier League home games (3-0 v Middlesbrough).
- Michy Bathsuyai netted his five Premier League goals from just eight shots on target this season.