John Terry, who will leave
After Cesar Azpilicueta and Michy Batshuayi put
Conte made nine changes to his starting XI, and having kept faith with the same tight group of first-teamers for the vast bulk of the season, it was little surprise their understudies looked a little undercooked.
It was the first time
With an FA Cup final against Arsenal on May 27 to tune up for, their fans will expect to see a more familiar starting line-up in Sunday’s final game at home to relegated Sunderland, after which they will receive the league trophy.
Batshuayi was rewarded for his title-clinching goal at West Bromwich Albion on Friday with a first league start in Chelsea blue, and it was after he had seen a shot deflected wide that the hosts took a 22nd-minute lead.
From Willian’s right-wing corner, Kurt Zouma headed the ball against Terry, who reacted sharply to hook the ball in off the left-hand post for his first goal since January last year.
Unfortunately for the
When Nathan Ake failed to get enough purchase on a headed clearance, Terry attempted to nod the ball back to Asmir Begovic, only for Capoue to steal in and send a header past the advancing
Hazard twice threatened to restore
Parity did not last long, however, as Hazard’s 36th-minute corner was headed clear only as far as Azpilicueta, who took a touch before drilling a crisp shot into the bottom-left corner.
After Willian, freed by Hazard, had seen a shot finger-tipped wide by Gomes early in the second half, the ‘one for you, one for me’ pattern of scoring was repeated.
In the 49th minute, Kenedy’s deflected shot ballooned into the air and was superbly controlled by Ake, who squared for Batshuayi for a tap-in.
Two minutes later, Janmaat looked to instigate a one-two with M’Baye Niang on the
Independent Media soccer writer Mazola Molefe (left) and his brother OG at Stamford Bridge!
Okaka equalised in the 74th minute with practically his first touch after coming on, slamming home after Zouma failed to cope with Tom Cleverley’s cross.
But Fabregas’ entrance dynamised