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Sunday, October 1, 2023

EPL: Rejected Batshuayi gives Chelsea fifth title

Do you believe in the adage that the stone that the builder rejects makes the cornerstone of the house?

Michy Batshuayi
Michy Batshuayi

This saying appeared to play itself out on Friday when Chelsea’s reject Michy Batshuayi scored the winning goal against West Bromwich Albion to give the London team the Premier League title. The title was won with eight minutes left as substitute Batshuayi ended a scrappy passage of play by steering a finish high past WBA goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Batshuayi’s left footed shot from close range to the centre of the goal, assisted by Cesar Azpilicueta, came in the 82th minute. Which means Chelsea won its sixth top-flight title, making it the first club to win the English top-flight title on a Friday, since Arsenal at Anfield in 1989.

Antonio Conte is the fourth Italian Manager to win English top-flight title after Ancelotti, Roberto Mancini and Claudio Ranieri.

Batshuayi has been a misfit for much of this season, but whatever the future holds for the 23-year-old Belgian, he will always have a goal that won the title to his name.

Before this game, he had only figured only 24 times, played for 579 minutes and scored five goals – his sixth makes it a mark in Chelsea history.

Batshuayi had a complex problem with Conte at training grounds. His main problem was that he just didn’t seem to be following Conte’s instructions for his position, that he kept making the same mistakes.

They could see his obvious talent, but couldn’t see any progress. They just couldn’t see him giving the side what they wanted.

The truth was it didn’t look like Conte fancied him at all that much. The Italian would often seek to play Eden Hazard or Pedro ahead of Batshuayi, and eight of those appearances lasted less than four minutes.

After the Friday’s Premier League title match, Manager Antonio Conte thanked all. “I think this achievement is a great one for my players. I have to say thanks for their attitudes, work rate, their patience and commitment for this season,” he said.

“They gave me everything, while Batshuayi paid me a lot, with his change which was great,” concluded Conte.

By Felix Simire

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