Five things we learned as Chelsea beat West Brom to win the Premier League title at the Hawthorns

Victor Moses superb once again, Chelsea's strength in depth continues to impress and why Antonio Conte's side richly deserve to be Premier League champions

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The Independent Sport

Michy Batshuayi struck late in the second-half to see off a dogged West Brom side and win Chelsea the 2016/17 Premier League title.

West Brom almost forced Chelsea to keep the champagne on ice, with a dogged defensive display which frusrated the league leaders for long spells. 

With less than a quarter of an hour left, Antonio Conte decided to gamble and brought on both Willian and Batshuyai, and it was the Belgian striker who won the game.

Latching onto Cesar Azpilicueta's cutback he fired home from close-range to win Chelsea the league.

5 key moments that won Chelsea the title

Here are five things we learned from the Hawthorns...

This victory encapsulated Chelsea's season

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Chelsea are good value for the league title (Getty)

West Brom are a disciplined, well-organised team, and they have beaten Arsenal and Leicester this season, as well as taking points from Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. They also clung on for a point at White Hart Lane last season in a draw that effectively ended Tottenham’s title charge, meaning they have previous on occasions such as these.

They delivered a characteristically tough, gritty performance against Chelsea in this fixture – but still, Chelsea got the job done. This result sums up their season. Whereas Spurs endured a miserable October and while the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal have all proved woefully inconsistent, Chelsea have kept winning.

After that chastising early defeat to Arsenal – which necessitated Antonio Conte’s highly successful switch to a 3-4-2-1 formation – Chelsea have been imperious, without a single occasion on which they have dropped points in two consecutive matches. They fully deserve the 2016/17 title. 

 

Could this be the turning point for Batshuayi?

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Batshuayi scored the winning goal (Getty)

The Belgian striker arrived at Stamford Bridge amid a lot of hope and expectation, but has struggled to deliver for Chelsea this season. Failing to make a single Premier League start for the club, there have been rumours that he could be shipped out this summer to accommodate a glamorous new signing.

But could this priceless goal be the turning point for the 23-year-old? There is no doubt that he possesses talent, and his attitude has never been in question. With this goal, the striker can end the season on a high and now focus on making sure his second season in London proves more of a success than the first. 

Few teams can rival Chelsea's strength in depth

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Few players have squad players as good as Fabregas (Getty)

Very few teams in the world could lose their best player to injury and yet carry on as though nothing had happened, seamlessly making a switch in the middle of park, tweaking their tactics slightly, and carrying on just as impressively as before.

But after losing N’Golo Kante to injury before their match against Middlesbrough, Conte simply moved Fabregas into the first-team, and Chelsea carried on just as smoothly as before. To have a player of Fabregas’s undoubtedly quality twiddling his thumbs on the bench sums up Chelsea’s strength in depth (see also: Willian) and offers hope that the club will be just as competitive in the league next season, even with a European campaign to juggle.  

Victor Moses deserves his place in this side

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Moses getting stuck in (Getty)

The deep pockets of Roman Abramovich mean that the back-pages will always be filled with reports and rumours of Chelsea being linked with some of the most glamorous players in world football. So players like Victor Moses – who win their place in Chelsea’s starting XI through hard-graft rather than a multi-million pound transfer – are always going to find their places under scrutiny.

But Moses has been a revelation for Chelsea this season and deserves to keep his spot in the team for next season. He was superb at the Hawthorns against West Brom, too: a constant attacking threat out wide, and solid in defence.

West Brom are this season's unheralded success story

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Pulis deserves credit for his work at West Brom (Getty)

They may have lost here, but West Brom deserve credit for their efforts this season. They continue to fly under the radar, and Tony Pulis’ pragmatic style of play is never going to excite the neutrals, but his club have enjoyed a quietly superb season and richly deserve their place in the top-half of the Premier League table.

They have sat in eighth place throughout 2017, even briefly sitting as high as sixth when they beat Watford at home shortly before Christmas. True, they’ve faded in the past few weeks and a run of six games without a win has kyboshed any slim chance they had of qualifying for the Europa League, but Pulis deserves an awful amount of credit for the stability he has brought to his club.

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