In her latest blog for the official Chelsea website, season ticket holder Hannah Kurzawski delivers out her own version of an 'Awards Night'. Over to you, Hannah...
A 0-0 draw with Leicester on Sunday at the King Power stadium was just enough for the Blues to clinch third spot in the Premier League for the 2018-2019 season. While it would be safe to say that attention was mainly focused on several other Premier League fixtures that day, it was job done for the Blues, with the aim of a top-four position successfully accomplished the week before.
It is the 13th time in the last 16 seasons that Chelsea have finished in the top three, and our final League table position signals our return to Champions League football in the 2019-2020 campaign.
This season the Blues reached the final of the Carabao Cup at Wembley and still have the Europa League Final at the end of this month in Baku to look forward to. Across all four competitions, Chelsea have played a total of 61 games, scoring 108 goals, with 38 wins, 12 draws and 11 losses.
The Blues welcomed Maurizio Sarri, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Jorginho into the club, as well as Mateo Kovacic and Gonzalo Higuain on loan this term. We’ve had last minute equalisers, both scored and conceded, and hit the woodwork 21 times – the joint highest in the League, along with Manchester City.
With the award season well and truly now underway, I have chosen a few Chelsea winners of my own for the 2018-2019 season...
Best Newcomer – Kepa Arrizabalaga
Kepa joined Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao for a record fee last summer, and with such an accolade, all eyes were inevitably on him as soon as he made his Premier League debut.
The young Spaniard has adapted seamlessly to English football, and to me it feels as if he’s been a part of the Chelsea squad for years. Kepa made 82 saves in the Premier League this season and kept 14 clean sheets. In the penalty shootout against Frankfurt last week, he made two brilliant saves to take the Blues to the Europa League Final.
Playmaker of the Season – Eden Hazard
With 19 goals and 16 assists across all competitions, there was only going to be one man I could name here. Hazard became only the fourth player in Premier League history to reach more than 15 goals and 15 assists in a single league season, with the feat last achieved by Thierry Henry in 2002-2003.
His magic yet again did not go unnoticed, with Hazard winning the 2019 Chelsea Player of the Year, the Players’ Player of the Year and Goal of the Season, making him the first player to win all three awards in one season.
Most Dependable – Cesar Azpilicueta
Cesar Azpilicueta is the only Chelsea player to feature in every Premier League game this season, clocking up 3,403 minutes of play – just 17 minutes short of playing the full 90 minutes in each of the 38 League fixtures.
This season, in the league alone, he amassed 2,483 passes, 105 tackles and 75 clearances. It was great to see the ever-dependable 'Dave' sign a new four-year contract with the Blues back in December.
Europa League Expert – Olivier Giroud
Giroud has scored 12 goals this season, 10 of which have come in the Europa League and makes him the top scorer in the competition. Chelsea have scored the highest number of goals out of all teams in the Europa League this season so far (32) and have had the highest number of attempts (229).
Goal of the Season – Ross Barkley v Man United
My favourite goal of the campaign doesn’t consist of fancy footwork or a sublime strike from the halfway line, but one that sent us all ballistic when it went in. It was back in October when Ross Barkley scored a 96th minute equaliser against Manchester United, leading Stamford Bridge into a frenzy.
It’s one I’ll remember for a long time and, with the battle for top four being so incredibly tight until the end of the season, it was a goal and a point that proved pretty significant.
Chelsea Lifetime Achievement Award – Gary Cahill
It appears that Gary Cahill - our solid, reliable captain who has been with Chelsea for eight seasons - will be moving on at the end of his contract. In that time he has won every major trophy there is to win - the Premier League, the Champions League, the Europa League, the FA Cup, and the League Cup. Not only that, he’s the fastest player in Premier League history to achieve this feat, winning all five between May 2012 and May 2015.
Joining the Blues from Bolton Wanderers in January 2012, Cahill soon became a regular in the Chelsea backline, featuring alongside John Terry. Gary, we wish you all the very best with your next venture, and thank you for all you have done for our club.