Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 0: Three talking points
Three talking points as Chelsea win their fourth Premier League title after a 1-0 win against Crystal Palace
Chelsea deservedly win the league
Chelsea have been labelled ‘boring’ in the last few weeks but the term can be open to interpretation. For some fans, watching Manchester United pass the ball endlessly without any end product could be deemed as boring. And for all their endeavour, they have still lost three games in a row, whereas the Blues haven’t lost since 1 January when Tottenham beat them 5-3. That is the form of champions, and that is why they deserve to win the Premier League title. Gary Neville was incensed over the criticism of Chelsea and said: “If we’re criticising anybody it should be the pathetic attempt at chasing them this season and putting up a fight. I have to say Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United have got to do so much better next season. The last team that we should be criticising are Chelsea. They are the ones that have gone on and done the job.” Chelsea haven’t been as aesthetically pleasing to watch as the side that won back-to-back titles in 2004 and 2005. But not every single title is won by the team playing the best football. Liverpool enthralled fans and pundits with their expansive football and still came up short, while Sir Alex Ferguson’s final title-winning team was largely down to the heroics of Robin van Persie.
Chelsea can only get better
Despite the criticism, Chelsea are going to win the league by quite some distance and what that proves is that the other teams have a lot of improving to do because the BLues are by no means the finished article. The league has been won on the basis of two elements, an incredible defence that has conceded just 27 goals in the league, and the magic and artistry of Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard. Assuming that Chelsea can keep Diego Costa fit throughout the entirety of next season and also add a few world-class players during the summer, they will be the team to beat again next season. Jose Mourinho knows how to win league titles having won them in Spain, Italy, Portugal and England. His record in the big games is fantastic and against the current top four: Chelsea have played them 12 times, won six, and drawn six. What Mourinho will have to do is find a way of getting the best of out his squad, it is clear that he trusts the first eleven, but he is often reluctant to rotate. Juan Cuadrado has come in for £23.3m but has only featured nine times since his January move. Players like Filipe Luis and Ramires have played sporadically so if Mourinho wants to win more than one trophy, he will have to start trusting more of the squad players at his disposal. Loic Remy has been a good example of how Chelsea do possess some depth and has scored some vital goals in the title run-in.
Pardew has done a great job at Palace
Since leaving Newcastle United for Crystal Palace on 2 January, Alan Pardew has played 17 matches, and won ten of them. This is remarkable considering they were in the relegation zone after sacking Neil Warnock. The Eagles are now comfortably in mid-table with 42 points and have been delighting fans with their exciting football. Wilfried Zaha and Yannick Bolasie have been providing the fireworks from wide positions with their trickery and pace, while Jason Puncheon has been converted into a creative midfielder. It has allowed Pardew to get all his best players into one team and the results have followed. The next challenge for the manager will be how he can improve them. The home form has been poor this year in comparison to last season under Tony Pulis. They have only won five games, whereas on their travels they have won six. If Pardew can improve upon this than a top-half finish next season isn’t out of the question.