10-man Chelsea limped to a sorry defeat as the effort of West Brom was duly rewarded with three goals and all three points.
The Blues, who have not lost since January 1st, already have the title in the bag and it was evident motivation and hunger dropped a couple of gears as West Brom claim some bragging points against the new champions in what was a very comfortable victory for them.
Mourinho promised youth some game-time but first first eleven was still as potent as ever, with only Loftus-Cheek the notable youth. Ake, Blackman, Christensen and Brown made the bench though, as Cech was conspicuous by his absence.
With this tie effectively a dead rubber, you would be forgiven if you thought it would be a lethargic, end-of-season dull affair. But you would be in for a nasty shock.
A slow start to the game was instantly brought to life with the game’s first goal, and what a stunner it was from Berahino. The striker did not even need to control Lescott’s ball and hit first-time from 20 yards. It was a delicious strike which evaded Courtois.
But the highlights would follow soon after. After a very patient first half an hour, things boiled over. Costa was involved in a typical scrap with McAuley, and whilst Mike Jones was deliberating over cards, Fabregas opted to non-chalantly kick the ball into the melee of players. Had it missed everyone, it would have not been a problem, but with it hitting Brunt on the face, Mike Jones deemed it violent conduct and the Spaniard was sent for an early bath.
West Brom has more opportunities as Loftus-Cheek caved under more responsibility owing to Fabregas’ departure, and it was left for Courtois to stop Brunt giving the hosts a second goal.
It was the first time this season Chelsea have gone into the break behind.
But it was about to get worse. John Terry, who has played every minute of every game so far and was pleading with Mourinho earlier in the week to let him continue his record for the final two matches of the season, may regret saying that because it was he who conceded an early second-half penalty. Berahino slotted home.
Remy then hit the base of the post with Myhill stranded but it was as close as Chelsea would come to salvaging any pride.
Brunt lashed home a third from a sneaky short corner as Courtois was caught cold.
Matic was denied from point-blank range from a corner as Myhill was in the right place at the right time.
The youth did come on in the end — Ake for Loftus-Cheek and Brown, an ex-Baggie, for Remy — but it was indicative of Mourinho forfeiting the game. I am sure he would have preferred to bring on the youth having secured a comfortable advantage in the game, but it was just not going to be Chelsea’s night.
The title has been secured anyway, as shown by Mourinho’s grand gestures as he thanked the away support at the end, who were chanting “top of the league” non-stop.
What are your thoughts from the game? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section below!
Man of the Match
Mourinho recognised the different mentality: “I can’t take it from the context, and the context is we are champions, and the players lose concentration, they lose intensity, they lose motivation. Am I guilty [too]? Yes, but you can’t expect us to get on the bus crying because we lost 3-0, we are champions.”
Pulis had kind words to say about Chelsea: “They have been worthy champions though, a fantastic football club and for people to criticise them is unbelievable. They have been the best team by a country mile this season.”
Post written by Martin Li. Martin has had four years’ blogging experience, writing for the likes of Bleacher Report and SWOL. He runs his own Chelsea blog — The Chelsea Chronicle — which has match reaction and analysis from every Chelsea match. You can follow him on Twitter.
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