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Chelsea 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur

Do Not UseDo Not Use 2/05/2016 By Aimee Lewis
Fans inside Stamford Bridge: Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge were backing former Blues manager Claudio Raneri © Getty Images Chelsea fans at Stamford Bridge were backing former Blues manager Claudio Raneri

Leicester City were crowned Premier League champions for the first time in their history as Tottenham squandered a two-goal lead to draw with Chelsea.

Spurs' only hope of claiming a first title since 1961 was to win their final three games of the season.

The visitors went ahead through sublime Harry Kane and Son Heung-min goals, but Chelsea ruined Spurs' dreams.

Gary Cahill scored before substitute Eden Hazard wonderfully equalised to ignite Leicester celebrations.

It was a thrilling match which had it all: super goals, tasty tackles, touchline melees and eye gouging.

But the story is all about Leicester and their incredible achievement, one which has been described as the most unlikeliest of triumphs in the history of team sport.

Leicester create history as Tottenham falter

Tottenham needed to create their own history to keep alive their title hopes - they have not won at Stamford Bridge for 26 years, when Gary Lineker scored the winner - but their failure allowed the Foxes, and most neutrals around the world, to celebrate an even unlikelier feat.

It is a point which has often been repeated these last weeks, but the odds of Leicester winning the first title of their 132-year history was 5,000-1 back in August. Bookies thought it more likely that Elvis Presley was alive and well.

Claudio Ranieri did have the foresight to have a bonus for winning the title written into his contract in July. The Italian has pocketed at least an extra £5m, as well as a first league title of his managerial career, and with two games of the season still remaining he and his players can now celebrate.

Leicester's players were watching Chelsea beat Tottenham at the home of Jamie Vardy, the newly crowned Football Writers' Player of the Year, and it can be safely assumed that while some Tottenham players squabbled with the opposition as they trudged off the pitch, the Foxes players were toasting becoming the first first-time winners of the English top-flight since Nottingham Forest in 1978.

A step too far for Spurs

Hazard and Cesc Fabregas had both said they were determined not to let their London rivals win the title and so it was no surprise that this was a feisty encounter played inside a raucous Stamford Bridge.

Tottenham took the lead when Kane, put through by Erik Lamela, perfectly timed his run and rounded Asmir Begovic for his 25th league goal of the season.

Son, replacing the suspended Dele Alli, was then put through by Christian Eriksen, but despite Tottenham's two-goal advantage players began to lose their cool. Indeed, Spurs were shown nine yellow cards, which is the most by a single team in a match in Premier League history.

Danny Rose and Willian squared off near the touchline before the break and Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino stepped onto the pitch to trigger the arrival of a blue and white cavalry. It was not to be the last time both sets of players would angrily tussle.

Television replays showed Mousa Dembele's fingers making contact with Diego Costa's eye and there is a real prospect of Spurs losing the services of their midfielder as a result.

Hazard sparks Chelsea comeback

It was the introduction of Hazard after the break which changed Chelsea's fortunes. The Belgian gave the hosts an incisiveness which had previously been missing.

Tottenham will also rue the poor defending from a Willian corner that allowed Cahill to have more than one touch inside the box and halve the deficit with his left foot.

But Hazard's brilliant goal was the coup de grace, curling a first-time shot into the top-right corner for his first goal at Stamford Bridge since his strike against Crystal Palace last year which secured the title for the Blues.

Kane said Chelsea's players "celebrated as if they won the title", but the Blues have had little to cheer in a terrible title defence.

The Londoners flirted with relegation, sacked their manager Jose Mourinho and will not be playing in either the Champions League or Europa League next season, with a ninth-placed finish the best they can hope for.

Man of the Match - Eden Hazard

What they said:

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino: "It's football, we are men, they are men. We need to show we are strong.

"It was a good lesson for us, we are the youngest squad in the league, we feel very proud and our supporters need to feel proud too, we have massive potential for the future.

"We are disappointed because of the title but we need to be realistic and congratulate our players. Next season we need to be stronger than this season and try to be in the race."

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas: "That's why we love this sport so much, it was a fantastic second half and I think everyone enjoyed it.

"It's a little bit how our season has gone - first half not too good, a little bit too easy. Then a wake-up call and we start performing.

"It's a shame because I believe we have a lot of quality in this team and we can do a lot better. They scored two goals because we didn't defend well enough but I think 70-75% of the game was ours."

The stats you need to know

It's the first time since 1987-88 to 1988-89 that the top-flight title has been won at the same ground in consecutive seasons.

Chelsea have gone 11 Premier League games without a clean sheet at Stamford Bridge. Their longest run in the competition.

Harry Kane has scored 14 goals in his last 15 Premier League appearances for Spurs.

Only Darren Anderton (14 in 94/95) has provided more assists in a Premier League season for Spurs than Christian Eriksen has in 13 in this campaign.

Spurs have lost just one of their last 11 Premier League London derbies (W5 D5 L1).

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