Premier League - 9 May 2010
Going into the final weekend of the 2009/10 season, Chelsea’s only title rivals Manchester United were one point behind with a vastly inferior goal difference. They hosted Stoke City, Chelsea entertained Wigan. Any win would do. But this would not be just any win.
The phlegmatic Carlo Ancelotti, in his first season at Stamford Bridge, had already seen his team knock seven goals past league opposition on three occasions: Sunderland, Aston Villa and Stoke. Remarkably, Didier Drogba was not on the scoresheet for any of those thrashings. The legendary striker was, though, in a duel for the Golden Boot with Man United’s Wayne Rooney; both had scored 26.
Barring a disaster the title would be Chelsea’s for the first time since 2006 and when Florent Malouda set up Nicolas Anelka for a goal after just five minutes. Stamford Bridge erupted, tension released.
However Wigan, with three at the back and fluidity going forward, had their moments - two in the first half hour. Then centre-half Gary Caldwell was red carded and the Latics’ endeavour departed the field with him.
Drogba was anxious to take the resulting penalty but Frank Lampard was the designate and he dispatched with aplomb. Lampard combined neatly with Salomon Kalou for the Ivorian to walk the ball over the line. Anelka was again in on the act for a fourth but still Drogba was firing blanks.
Just past the hour, though, he met a Lampard cross and headed powerfully past Mike Pollitt, running to the corner flag to celebrate, playing an invisible electric guitar. Twelve minutes later he had his hat-trick – enough to win the Golden Boot.
Ashley Cole added an eighth to register the Blues’ biggest ever winning margin in the league and push the Premier League goals tally to a record 103. No top-flight club had notched a hundred for nearly half a century.
United eventually beat the Potters 4-0 but it was Chelsea, in the most emphatic fashion, who were crowned champions again.