The Week In Chelsea: Hazard wins the title again

As Chelsea's ghastly season comes to a close, they had the nation's backing (I know right, weird) against Spurs. Garry Hayes looks back on a fiesty night, and a spectcular week for their youngsters...

The week in five words

Chelsea really don’t like Tottenham

What went well…

It was exciting stuff, with a total of 12 bookings (nine going to Spurs) and even a post-match scrap in the tunnel between coaching staff and players from both clubs.

The naysayers will say it shows just how far Chelsea have fallen that they have to take delight in denying their rivals a crack at the Premier League title. Chelsea fans will say they simply don’t care.

The Blues restored an element of harmony at Stamford Bridge on Monday night as they drew 2-2 with Tottenham Hotspur to gift-wrap the Premier League title for Leicester City.

The game was quite unlike anything we’ve seen in the Premier League all season. In these days of mega TV deals and corporate sponsors, the feeling is that football has become somewhat sanitised. Well, we’re not sure the Chelsea and Spurs players got the memo on that one.

Monday night was a throwback to a bygone age when players like Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris got away with murder in west London. There were tackles flying in everywhere and we lost count of the amount of times players were pulling out their expensive Louis Vuitton handbags to have a pop at each other.

It was exciting stuff, with a total of 12 bookings (nine going to Spurs) and even a post-match scrap in the tunnel between coaching staff and players from both clubs.

Oh, and there was some football played. Spurs had taken a 2-0 lead before Gary Cahill and Eden Hazard rescued a point for Chelsea.

Chelsea fans still have a lot of love for Ranieri

It means Spurs are still looking for a first win at Stamford Bridge since 1990 and thanks to Chelsea snatching a draw, they can no longer win the title.

All that’s left to say is congratulations Leicester!

What went even better…

A fortnight ago, Chelsea’s youngsters were busy retaining the UEFA Youth League. Well, on Wednesday they only went and won a third successive FA Youth Cup to add to their trophy haul. Chelsea defeated Manchester City 3-1 at Stamford Bridge to record a 4-2 aggregate victory.

Not since the Busby Babes has a club managed to win three Youth Cups in a row, with Chelsea now lifting the trophy five times in the past seven seasons.

Chelsea youth team have competed in six of the last seven youth cup finals

It’s an impressive achievement and given how underwhelming the first team has been this season, has given the club something to shout about.

Denying Spurs the title was memorable for very different reasons, but winning the Youth Cup again topped it.

Quote of the week 

“My first group I was in charge of as a coach, I took the Under-8s. Tammy Abraham, Ruben Sammut and Fikayo Tomori were part of that group. Josh Grant, Mason Mount and Nathan Baxter followed the year after.”

Chelsea youth team coach Joe Edwards spoke to FFT after watching his side win the FA Youth Cup, revealing how six of those who featured in the final have come through the ranks over the past decade alongside him. Remarkable.

The need-to-know facts

  • Eden Hazard scored his first home Premier League goal in 365 days, since the title decider against Crystal Palace last season

  • It’s the first time since 1987/88-1988/89 that the top-flight title has been won at the same ground in consecutive seasons

  • Spurs have won none of their last 29 visits to Stamford Bridge in all comps (D11 L18), since a 2-1 win in February 1990

Video/GIF of the week

The Chelsea Fans Channel on YouTube has taken great pride in pranking some of their rivals in the past. Last season they headed over to the Emirates Stadium where they covered the Arsenal sign outside to make it read Chelsea instead. Well, ahead of Monday’s London derby with Spurs, they were back at it again…

Winner of the week 

Eden Hazard. Chelsea’s Belgian has stepped in from the cold. Finally.

Quite where Eden Hazard’s been all season, only he knows. He put in a breath taking display against Spurs on Monday night that saved Chelsea’s blushes, capping it off with a simply wonderful goal.

Chelsea had been full of running in the first half against their London rivals, yet they lacked any real punch. They seemed to be playing on nothing more than a diet of hate and there was no substance behind anything they tried. Then Hazard came off the bench at the interval and changed the game. 

Given all we’ve seen from him in 2015/16, it wasn’t hard for Hazard to top any of his previous performances. This was by the far the best and in terms of the feeling on the terraces, the most vital. Chelsea fans have their hero back.

Loser of the week 

Dominic Solanke. From celebrating the youth team, we’re going against the grain by outing Dominic Solanke for his ludicrous demands he’s reportedly put to Chelsea in his on-going contract negotiations.

Dominic Solanke has been linked with Arsenal

Solanke – currently on loan at Vitesse Arnhem – has one year left on his current deal at Stamford Bridge and according to some news outlets is demanding a cool £50,000 per week to stay, along with guarantees on his first-team status.

All this from a player who is still a teenager and has played just 17 minutes of first-team football for the club.

Had Solanke not been on loan this season, he would have been playing in the FA Youth Cup final. He remains a raw talent and needs to be working more on his game than his bank balance.

We think a reality check is in order.

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