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CHELSEA 2-2 TOTTENHAM: HAZARD HANDS LEICESTER THE TITLE


Pochettino's charges remain five points
behind the Foxes with just six left in play
after a gutsy triumph in west London, as the
Blues failed to end their rivals' hopes
Eden Hazard will be the toast of Leicester,
as the Belgian and Chelsea struck a late
equaliser to tie 2-2 with Tottenham and
hand the Foxes the Premier League title.
Mauricio Pochettino's men needed victory to
retain hope of stopping Leicester's
astonishing march towards glory and Harry
Kane's 25th Premier League goal of the
season, along with a clinical finish from Son
Heung-min, gave them a healthy half-time
advantage.
Monday's encounter was an ill-tempered
one.

Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele is likely to
face retrospective action for an apparent
eye gouge on Diego Costa, though the feisty
occasion perhaps helped Chelsea to
rediscover some of the fire that has been
absent far too often in their shambling
Premier League defence.

Gary Cahill reduced the arrears in the 58th
minute and Eden Hazard, who schemed
menacingly as a half-time substitute, scored
his first league goal at Stamford Bridge
since last season's title-clinching win over
Crystal Palace to ensure a new and unlikely
name would be etched on the trophy.
Former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri will hoist
that silverware at a raucous King Power
Stadium after Saturday's match against
Everton, no doubt thrilled by the help from
his former employers.

Cahill and John Terry were reunited at the
heart of the Chelsea defence, with the
former heading a fourth-minute corner wide
as the hosts applied early pressure.
Cesc Fabregas, the former Arsenal
midfielder who recently stated his desire for
Tottenham to fall short in their title bid, was
picked out by Costa and dragged wastefully
wide in the 27th minute.

Tottenham spurned a similarly inviting
opening with Son, in for the suspended Dele
Alli, lashing past the near post but
Pochettino's side crafted a fine opener 10
minutes before half-time.

Christian Eriksen combined with Erik Lamela
for the Argentina international to pick out
Kane's perfectly timed run, with the England
striker able to coolly round Asmir Begovic
and slot into an unguarded net.

Costa engineered space on the edge of the
box to fire over as Chelsea sought a response
but they were left with a mountain to climb
by a blistering Spurs counter-attack.
Kane intercepted a stray pass from
Branislav Ivanovic and Eriksen expertly slid
a pass through to Son, whose aim was true
this time.

The half ended with unsavoury scenes after
Danny Rose rashly fouled Willian – with
Dembele particularly lucky to escape
punishment as replays showed he made
contact with Costa's left eye.

Rose and Willian were booked for their
troubles and renewed acquaintances early in
the second half as the Brazil winger crashed
into his opponent before Son clipped the
loose ball wide from the edge of the box.
Chelsea grasped a lifeline in the 58th minute
as Spurs midfielder Eric Dier missed an
attempted clearance from Willian's corner
and Cahill pounced with an emphatic left-
footed volley.

The complexion of the contest changed
entirely, Hazard to the fore for the hosts,
and Willian shot too close to Tottenham
goalkeeper Hugo Lloris from a Costa pass.
Spurs right-back Kyle Walker endured a
tough outing and was grateful to see
Hazard's low cross spin off his shin and wide
in the 74th minute, while substitute Ryan
Mason shot tamely at Begovic when he should
have restored the two-goal cushion.

Despite his misfiring campaign, Hazard
showed why he has a more renowned eye for
goal from midfield as he darted towards the
area, exchanged passes with Costa and
found the top corner to break Tottenham
hearts and set champagne corks popping in
Leicester.

The Chelsea faithful delighted at their rivals
falling short and, as tempers on the field
frayed further, the name of the new
champions boomed around Stamford Bridge,
which will now offer a guard of honour to
Leicester on the final day.