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Chelsea claim Premier League crown after victory over Palace

SoccerBy Sunday World
Eden Hazard celebrates his goal
Eden Hazard celebrates his goal

Unbeaten since New Year's Day, Chelsea got their hands on the Premier League title with three games to spare after a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

A first half penalty, converted by Eden Hazard at the second attempt, gave Chelsea all three points at Stamford Bridge this afternoon, wrapping up the Premier League title for the Blues.

Jose Mourinho's side needed three points to claim the trophy with three games to spare and Eden Hazard headed in the rebound after missing a first-half penalty.

Mourinho's 21st trophy of his prolific career was the Capital One Cup win at Wembley in March - the first of his second spell at Stamford Bridge - and now the Portuguese has a third Premier League title and Chelsea's fourth in 11 seasons.

The self-proclaimed Special One delivered the first title 10 years ago - the 2004-05 win was Chelsea's first championship in 50 years - but domestic league success has eluded the Blues since Carlo Ancelotti led them to the 2009-10 title.

Chelsea entered Sunday's fixtures 13 points clear of Manchester City and Arsenal, the only team who could overhaul them as they have a game in hand.

It was a nervous opening for the champions-elect, with Palace determined to prolong Chelsea's wait for the title, roared on by a raucous visiting support which only served to remind Mourinho of his unhappiness at the home faithful this term.

Hazard has so often been Chelsea's saviour and once again provided the spark which led to Chelsea's penalty, although there was debate about the extent of the contact.

The Belgian's spot-kick was saved by Julian Speroni, but he headed in the rebound to settle nerves with his 19th of the season.

Mourinho reaffirmed his "more strategic, less artistic" approach of recent weeks by sending on John Obi Mikel at half-time and Kurt Zouma late on.

Some have labelled it "boring", but Chelsea and Mourinho cared not a jot as the Blues saw out victory and jubilant celebrations began.