Monday, May 10, 2010

Chelsea (Emphatically) Wins Premier League

Chelsea’s Didier Drogba celebrates following an 8-0 victory over visiting Wigan on Sunday. Drogba scored three goals in the game giving him a Premier League-best 29 for the season.
Didier Drogba celebrating Chelsea’s 8-0 victory against Wigan. Drogba scored three goals, giving him 29 this season, to edge Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney for the Premier League scoring title.

Chelsea is the best team in England, and anyone who disputes that need only look at the scoresheet from its final victory — an 8-0 thrashing of visiting Wigan on Sunday. Chelsea’s Premier League crown was its third in six years.
Didier Drogba led the way Sunday with three goals, giving him a Premier League-best 29 this season, though it would be just as easy to list the players who didn’t find the net.
Nicolas Anelka gave Chelsea the lead in the sixth minute, and Frank Lampard doubled it with a penalty kick in the 32nd. Wigan defender Gary Caldwell drew a red card for the challenge that brought down Lampard, leaving his teammates defenseless for what was to come: Salomon Kalou, Anelka again, Drogba (three times) and a 90th-minute left-footed rocket by Ashley Cole. (Drogba had a full-bodied hat trick, scoring left-footed, right-footed and on a header.)

Manchester United beat Stoke, 4-0, to finish 1 point behind, but all a disappointed Sir Alex Ferguson could do was try his best to be gracious.

“When we heard Wigan was down to 10 men, our hopes evaporated then,” Ferguson said. “We know how difficult it is to win the Premier League and that’s why we congratulate Carlo Ancelotti and his team.
“It’s a great achievement to beat Manchester United. Losing this title makes you appreciate the achievement of winning the last three and also getting so near. We’ve got to try again.”

Ancelotti’s team finished with 103 goals, becoming the first Premier League team to top the century mark and the first to do it in England’s top division since Tottenham in 1963.

The Blues finished with an astonishing goal difference of 71, and went a perfect 6-0 against the rest of England’s big four — Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool. And they did it all despite not one but two sex scandals, Drogba’s pining for his Marseille days, and an injury list that, had it competed on its own, probably could have finished in the top half of the Premier League.

Not a bad year (not an unbeaten one, but still …). And it will only get better if they beat Portsmouth in F.A. Cup final on Saturday at Wembley.