Although the winners of the English Premier League (EPL) were concluded couple of weeks ago but it was the Sunday that the top flight division of English football got officially over.
Chelsea triumphed in arguably the toughest football league in the world for the 6th time ever in their history. The summer appointee Antonio Conte had a monumental task with a relatively new squad at helm and enormous pressure to succeed, but the former Juventus man carried his Serie A exploits to England.
After the initial struggles, Conte deployed the unconventional 3-4-3 formation and immediately started reaping rewards. Long serving defender John Terry played a bit-part role in Chelsea’s run but Cesar Azpilicueta deputised commendably and marshalled the defence with example.
Undoubtedly, talismanic Eden Hazard was their main man throughout the season, entertaining the Stamford loyalists with his mazy dribbling, ultimately scoring 16 and setting up 5 goals.
But the tireless midfielder, N’Golo Kante, has got deservedly all the individual accolades coming his way. Former Leicester City man, who won the EPL title with them last year, bagged another piece of silverware by maintaining consistency throughout the season.
Kante was named the Premier League Player of the Season for the second time in a row, becoming the first player to collect the award for two different clubs.
Despite of the early promise and a squad that boasted European experience in Victor Valdes, top class forward in Alvaro Negredo and one of the consistently performing defence; Middlesbrough failed to capitalise on quality available at their disposal. They relegated to the second division of English football.
Sunderland and Hull City, which gained promotion last year only, were the other two teams that ended the season in relegation zone.
Also, last year’s champions Leicester City miserably failed to even break into the top half of the table and finished at 12th. Leicester managed to retain the same title winning squad this season as well, except Kante, and further strengthened the squad with Islam Slimani, Ahmed Musa and several others.
But poor form and dismissal of coach Claudio Ranieri did not help their cause and now, it is speculated that Leicester now awaits a mass exodus of players with Riyad Mahrez leading the pack.