Chelsea clinched the English Premier League at the first opportunity on Friday, beating West Bromwich Albion 1-0 through Michy Batshuayi’s 82nd-minute goal to take an unassailable 10-point lead. Chelsea manager Antonio Conte jumped into the arms of his fellow coaches near the dugout after Batshuayi _ just on as a substitute _ poked home a close-range finish from Cesar Azpilicueta’s cut-back.
It is a second top-flight league title in three seasons and sixth in total for Chelsea, which has led the standings since early November.
Conte became the fourth manager to win the Premier League in his first season in English soccer. The Italian has had the golden touch, and it extended to the title-clinching game.
Chelsea was being frustrated by a stubborn West Brom defending deep and in numbers, so Conte decided to take off Eden Hazard and Pedro Rodriguez and bring on Batshuayi _ surprisingly _ and Willian.
Six minutes later, the Belgium striker was scoring the biggest goal of his career and being mobbed by teammates in front of Chelsea’s jubilant visiting fans.
It marked the end of a title race that has been dominated by Chelsea, with only Tottenham giving chase.
Spurs lost at West Ham 1-0 last week to give Chelsea three opportunities to clinch the league. They needed only one.
Chelsea has won 28 of its 35 games, including nine of its last 11 matches.
Conte’s team has also reached the final of the FA Cup, where it will play Arsenal at Wembley Stadium on May 27.