May 12, 2017

'Chelsea Worthy Champions'  (Sky Sports)

Mitchy BatshuayiWest Brom boss Tony Pulis hailed Chelsea as "worthy champions" after Antonio Conte's side wrapped up the Premier League crown.

Michy Batshuayi netted a famous late winner as Chelsea sealed the title with two games to spare after a hard-fought 1-0 win at Pulis' Baggies.

Batshuayi had not scored in the league since August but slid in to meet a Cesar Azpilicueta cut-back in the 82nd minute - just moments after coming off the bench - to ensure the Blues secured a second league crown in three seasons.

However, West Brom gave Chelsea a tough workout and the result could have been different if Salomon Rondon or Nacer Chadli finished fine second-half chances.

"They are worthy champions, they have to take a lot of credit and could do the double this season," Pulis told Sky Sports.

"They are a wonderful team and have been fantastic this year. They had a poor start but recovered and have been the most consistent side. We gave them a really good game, that's what we wanted to do. We wanted to make it difficult for them."

Conte, who claimed three Serie A titles as Juventus coach, has wasted no time in getting the London club back on top after a chaotic title defence last season led to the sacking of Jose Mourinho and an eventual 10th-place finish.

Pulis has relished picking his wits against the Italian this season.

"He's been fantastic, his enthusiasm and his attitude," he said.

"People on the bench had been saying about how he gets into it like supporters do. But's he's also a good coach with a great understanding. I spoke to him before the match and he said he recognised he had to change his tactics early in the season otherwise he might've been changed himself."

The Soccerlinks Hit List