Eden Hazard. Picture by: Action Images

Topsy-turvy season draws to improbable close

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Eden Hazard. Picture by: Action Images

By Tim Harrison

This topsy-turvy season draws to an improbable close with new champions Leicester City being given a celebratory guard of honour at Stamford Bridge.

After Chelsea lost at Sunderland, there was a midweek draw at Anfield, with the rejuvenated Eden Hazard on target again with another beautiful individual goal.

It should have been a straightforward win for the Blues, but a stoppage-time equaliser gave Liverpool a point after Azmir Begovic again flapped at a cross he should have claimed.

If the No2 keeper has been trying to impress incoming gaffer Antonio Conte, he’s failed woefully.

John Terry’s long career in SW6 came to an end with a whimper after his sending-off against the Black Cats, denying him a proper goodbye at the ground he’s called home for so long. Sunderland used their victory against Chelsea as a springboard to safety, thrashing Everton in midweek to send rivals Newcastle down.

At Liverpool, Bertrand Traore played up front, with John Obi Mikel again justifying Guus Hiddink’s bottomless faith in him by standing in for JT at the back – and doing well.

Conte is not a particular fan of Mikel, but even he has had to admit the midfielder has made an impressive makeshift defender.

Yet another Chelsea player appeared in a mask at Liverpool – with Pedro continuing the trend for wearing the must-have Blues accessory after breaking his nose.

The game was notable for the blooding of youth team substitute striker Tammy Abraham – a sliver of a player who shows real potential, provided he can beef himself up a bit.

He’s the size of a clothes line prop, and needs to fill out to turn into the new Romelu Lukaku or, dare we say it, Didier Drogba.

Sunday’s final match of the season will be a surreal and ultimately meaningless affair; a chance to salute that old friend Claudio Ranieri and his band of remarkable men.

After that, thoughts seriously turn to next season.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham.

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