Water fight rounds off the season



Chelsea manager Antonio Conte celebrates after winning the Premier League with wife Elisabetta Muscarello and daughter Vittoria. PICTURE: ACTION IMAGES

Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

Most of Chelsea’s unused substitutes, assistant managers and medics missed Michy Batshuayi’s quickfire double which rounded off the Blues’ final league game of the season.

They were busy having a water fight on the touchline, squirting jets of isotonic liquid as they chased each other round the dugout.

It summed up the end-of-season feel during a one-sided 5-1 thrashing of relegated Sunderland, with John Terry subbed on 26 minutes to coincide with his squad number, and Roman Abramovich getting to his feet to acknowledge a stadium chant for the shy Russian billionaire who has made this sustained spell of silver-laden dominance possible.

The focus now shifts to the cup final against Arsenal.

Whether Batshuayi has done enough in recent games to be the No1 striker at Stamford Bridge remains to be seen.

What seems certain, however, is that Diego Costa is going. He irritates as much as he impresses, and Tony Conte is as exasperated with Costa’s on-field antics as he is delighted with the Blues setting a 30-win season record.

Wembley will be a scorcher, with the temperature hitting 90 degrees in old money.

The Blues have the wind in their sails, and start as strong favourites, although the Gunners would love to deny them the double.

The sound of 40,000 people in blue cheering their manager to the rafters will contrast with the indifferent silence of 40,000 people in red towards their gaffer of 21 years, Arsene Wenger.

When the only chants you get are ironic ones from opposing fans, urging you to stay, perhaps it is time to check your ‘best before’ date, gather your dignity and move on.

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

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