LONDON, (Reuters) – Chelsea secured the Premier League title in magnificent fashion by destroying 10-man Wigan Athletic 8-0 in a party atmosphere at Stamford Bridge yesterday.
Didier Drogba netted a hat-trick to finish top of the Premier League scoring charts with 29 goals as Carlo Ancelotti’s rampant side edged an intriguing title race by a point from Manchester United, who beat Stoke City 4-0 on the final day.
Nicolas Anelka struck twice and Frank Lampard, Salomon Kalou and Ashley Cole were also on target as Chelsea ended the season with 103 league goals, the first side to pass the century mark in the top flight since Tottenham Hotspur in 1963.
Chelsea, who prevented United winning a record 19th league title and a fourth in succession, can complete the double in next week’s FA Cup final against Portsmouth.
“It’s been a hard three years watching United win the titles year after year,” Chelsea skipper John Terry told Sky Sports before being presented with the Premier League trophy for the first time since Jose Mourinho was coach in 2006.
“It’s their turn to watch us today. Now we’ve got it back we want to do what they did. It’s been an up and down year but this is what we’ve worked for.”
Arsenal, who had been in and out of the title race all season, made sure of a place in the group stages of next season’s Champions League with a 4-0 home win over Fulham to hold off a late challenge for third spot from Tottenham Hotspur who finished fourth after a 4-2 defeat at Burnley.
Manchester City drew 1-1 at West Ham United, Aston Villa lost at home to Blackburn Rovers and Liverpool, who just crept into the Europa League places, were held 0-0 by Hull City who will join Burnley and Portsmouth in the Championship (second division) next season.