Last week I wrote about how Chelsea were only two wins away from securing their 5th English title in the clubs history. Only seven days later, and the feat has been achieved, and then some.
With four games to play Chelsea needed only three points to secure the victory that seems to have been coming all season long. The plan was to secure it as soon as possible, and the game against Crystal Palace at home, provided the ideal opportunity to do so.
The nerves were there for all to see, as Chelsea, as they have done on many an occasion recently, looked uneasy and perhaps even a little limp.
However, as champion sides tend to do, they found a way, albeit a fortunate one, through a dubious penalty that was only scored at the second time of asking by player of the season Eden Hazard. From then on in Chelsea expertly ground out the win to regain a title that Jose Mourinho has become so fond of.
Undoubtedly the most deserving side, Chelsea started the season like a house on fire, going the first 22 games without defeat. Their home form tells an even more formidable tale. With two home games left in the season, thus far the dominant Blues have dropped just 6 points at Stamford Bridge, conceding a meagre 7 goals.
Captain John Terry has played every single minute of their league campaign thus far, a figure that equates to about 3150 minutes of football. They started on top, and never relinquished their iron clad grip on first place. At one stage, Manchester City drew level with them, but then faltered and lost pace with high flying London side.
By the time season ends, they will have spent around about 300 days at the top of the table, which will be nearly every day of the season, bar a day or two due to them starting later than the rest of the field.
When John Terry holds the famous trophy aloft come season end, there can be no arguments that his side were the best, and by some way too. All that is left for the now hopeless chasing pack, is to get as close to the Blues as possible.
Elsewhere Manchester City strengthened their hold on second with a hard fought win over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane. After turning in some awful performances, Liverpool will be ruing the fact that they dropped 5 points against the likes of Hull City and West Brom, only just managing their first win for several weeks against Queens Park Rangers, as top four rivals Manchester United fell to their third consecutive loss, faltering at home to West Brom.
Three games without a goal, Louis Van Gaal will be concerned about his cutting edge up front and about a leaky defence of late. However, with only three games to go, The Red Devils look to be comfortable in fourth, and would have to drop about 5 points in those remaining games if they are to be shunted out of the Champions League.
As the season draws to close, the current state of affairs is looking sombre for bottom dwellers Burnley and Queens Park Rangers. The trap door is getting closer and closer and try as they might, they cannot seem to get any further away from it.
With only three games to go, and the title race already wrapped up, the relegation scrap is most likely to provide the entertainment from here on in, as teams fight tooth and nail to avoid the dreaded drop.
– Paul Conolly