English Premiership

Five key players in Chelsea's title win

2017-05-13 10:32
Diego Costa (Getty Images)

London - After Chelsea were crowned Premier League champions on Friday, a look at five players who played pivotal roles in their title success.

David Luiz

The news that Chelsea had agreed to pay £30 million to re-sign David Luiz from Paris Saint-Germain, who had paid £50 million to sign him in June 2014, was met with mockery by English football fans. In his previous stint at Chelsea, Luiz's penchant for hazardous sorties from centre-back had seen him branded a liability and there was puzzlement when he was brought back to Stamford Bridge. But the Brazil international has proved to be an extremely shrewd acquisition by Antonio Conte, slotting neatly into the centre of Chelsea's back three and spreading reassurance with his aggressiveness in the duel and calmness on the ball. "His decision-making has been far better in terms of not being as rash," said former Manchester United defender Gary Neville. "I have to say he looks more mature. He's not getting distracted by the sideshow stuff on the pitch like he did before."

Victor Moses

Moses barely made a mark during his first four years as a Chelsea player after being signed from Wigan Athletic in 2012 and was successively loaned out to Liverpool, Stoke City and West Ham United. But the Nigeria winger has been one of the chief beneficiaries of Conte's 3-4-2-1 system, adopted during September's 3-0 defeat at Arsenal. Though a winger by trade, Moses has adapted enthusiastically to life as a wing-back and his flying raids down the right flank have become a key component of Chelsea's counter-attacking strategy.

N'Golo Kante

Leicester City succeeded in keeping Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez at the King Power Stadium following last season's fairytale title win, but they lost perhaps their most precious jewel when Kante left for Chelsea in a £32 million deal. The unassuming France international picked up where he had left off at Leicester, suffocating opposition midfields with his relentless activity and uncanny knack for recovering possession. He has been voted Player of the Year by both the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) and the Football Writers' Association (FWA). "It's amazing to see him play," said former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba. "You look at him and it's like he hasn't run at all during the game because he's never tired."

Eden Hazard

The star of Chelsea's previous title success in 2014-15, Hazard underwent an inexplicable slump last season, scoring just four Premier League goals as Chelsea limped to a dismal 10th-place finish. But the Belgian winger has been back to his brilliant best this season. Given extra liberty by Conte, Hazard has been free to sew panic in Premier League defences with his devilish dribbling and incisive passing. His 15-goal tally is his best in a league campaign since he joined Chelsea from Lille in 2012 and includes a stunning solo goal in a 3-1 win against Arsenal that saw him leave three players in his wake. He finished runner-up behind Kante in the voting for both the PFA and FWA awards. "He is a great player, a great talent," said Conte. "And he must understand that he is a great player and never forget this."

Diego Costa

Like Hazard, Costa experienced a mystifying dip in form under Jose Mourinho last season and often seemed more interested in seeking trouble with opposition defenders than finding the back of the net. This season has been far from straightforward, amid persistent links with a move to the Chinese Super League, and he was briefly dropped in January after a blazing row with a fitness coach. But the Brazil-born Spain international has managed to keep his eye on the ball nevertheless, giving Conte a rugged attacking spearhead and scoring 20 league goals for only the third time in his career.

Read more on:    chelsea  |  english premiership  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Saturday, 31 March 2018
Crystal Palace v Liverpool, Selhurst Park 13:30
West Ham United v Southampton, London Stadium 16:00
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 16:00
Newcastle United v Huddersfield Town, St. James' Park 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Leicester City, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Burnley, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v AFC Bournemouth, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
Everton v Manchester City, Goodison Park 18:30
Sunday, 01 April 2018
Arsenal v Stoke City, Emirates Stadium 14:30
Chelsea v Tottenham Hotspur, Stamford Bridge 17:00
Saturday, 07 April 2018
Everton v Liverpool, Goodison Park 13:30
Stoke City v Tottenham Hotspur, Bet365 Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Newcastle United, King Power Stadium 16:00
Brighton & Hove Albion v Huddersfield Town, The American Express Community Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Swansea City, The Hawthorns 16:00
Watford v Burnley, Vicarage Road Stadium 16:00
AFC Bournemouth v Crystal Palace, Vitality Stadium 16:00
Manchester City v Manchester United, Etihad Stadium 18:30
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will claim the Premier League title at the end of the 2017/18 season?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.