Antonio Conte watched his side finish the season in style as we beat Sunderland 5-1 to set a Premier League record of 30 wins in a single season.
It was a day of mixed emotions as the Blues were presented with the Premier League trophy, shortly before both John Terry and Steve Holland said heartfelt goodbyes to Stamford Bridge.
‘There was a lot of emotion today,’ said Conte. ‘I think it’s great to finish the season in this way, to celebrate a fantastic season. We won the league with 30 wins which is very positive for us. We overcame a lot of difficult steps so we must be proud to celebrate with our fans and our families.’
Conte spoke about the decision to withdraw Terry after 26 minutes, with the skipper afforded a guard of honour by his team-mates as he left the pitch.
‘I told you that it was very important to find the right solution to celebrate a great champion and a legend of the club. He deserved to start the game and then to have the substitution in the 26th minute. He deserved this celebration because he wrote his Chelsea history. I wish him and his family the best in the future. For me and the club it will be a great loss because he helped me a lot on and off the pitch this season. Now we must respect his decision.
‘I think this idea of my players (the guard of honour) was a great one, to recognise an important career and a legend of the club, one of the best defenders in the world. He deserved this.’
The Italian spoke about Michy Batshuayi, who came off the bench to score two late goals
‘I’m pleased for him because Michy had a very difficult season. It’s not easy to arrive and play in the Premier League because it’s very strong. After one year, working and pushing a lot, and to have great commitment from him, he deserves (to play) the final, and for sure he’s another weapon.’
Conte said we must now re-focus in order to be ready for next weekend's FA Cup final against Arsenal
‘This is the danger. To think that this season is finished and if we win or lose it doesn’t change the situation. We must think as winners, not losers. It’s important to celebrate today and enjoy this moment.
‘This season can become fantastic if we are able to win the FA Cup. We must find the right motivation because the level is the same between ourselves and Arsenal, we lost 3-0 in the first game and then won 3-1. Now we have the opportunity to play the third game. We must find the right fire in our soul to work very hard this week and feel this game. It’s a great opportunity to win the Double.
‘I tried to find the best solution for us to bring all my players in the right form and give more minutes to the players who need to play more, then I have six days to decide the best starting 11. This season has showed when players came off the bench they were decisive for us. Even today, Pedro and Batshuayi came on and scored three goals. Michy scored at West Brom and Fabregas came off the bench and scored against Watford.
‘If you ask me now who is the favourite I would say it’s Arsenal because the only possibility they have to make it a good season is by winning the FA Cup. The game will be very difficult, above all because after so many years they missed out on the Champions League. I’m not talking about the tactical game, I’m talking about motivation.’