Chelsea crowned champions

LONDON - Chelsea sparkled and the champagne flowed after an 8-0 demolition of Wigan Athletic which brought the Premier League trophy back to Stamford Bridge on Sunday after three seasons of Manchester United domination.

Didier Drogba netted a hat-trick to finish top of the scoring charts and Carlo Ancelotti's side recorded the club's biggest top-flight win to edge an intriguing title race by one point from Manchester United, who beat Stoke City 4-0.

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United's finale was marred by angry protests by fans against the club's American owners and a groin injury to England talisman Wayne Rooney which will concern Fabio Capello two days before he names his provisional World Cup squad.

But it was Chelsea's day with two goals for Nicolas Anelka and one apiece for Frank Lampard, Salomon Kalou and Ashley Cole taking their league tally to 103, the first side to pass the century mark in the top flight since Tottenham Hotspur in 1963.

Ancelotti, so under-stated during his first season in English football after 33 years as a player and coach in Italy, could hardly contain himself as he danced around the pitch with the trophy.

The beaming Italian, who prevented United winning a record 19th league title and a fourth in succession, can complete the double in next week's FA Cup final against Portsmouth.

"We played with continuity. We played as a team and at the training ground the players always did a good job," Ancelotti said.

"It was time for Chelsea to win the title, but Manchester United and Arsenal were fantastic rivals."

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Captain John Terry, whose season has been blighted by unsavoury publicity about his extra-marital activities, said three years of pain were over.

"It's been a hard three years watching United win the titles year after year," he said before being presented with the Premier League trophy for the first time since Jose Mourinho was Chelsea manager in 2006.

"It's their turn to watch us today. Now we've got it back we want to do what they did. It's been an up and down year but this is what we've worked for."

Chelsea, who have been English champions four times, racked up 17 goals in the three-game sprint to the finish line and Sunday was the sixth time this season they had hit five or more in a match.

"This right up there, the way we did it in style, it's been fantastic," Lampard said. "After not winning it for three years to come back and do it in style like we did today is superb."

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The only blot on the day was a show of petulance from Drogba when he barely celebrated Lampard's penalty, the Ivory Coast striker upset