Kante claims Premier League Player of the Season prize

LONDON (AP) - Premier League champion Chelsea celebrated its title in style with a 5-1 victory over relegated Sunderland on Sunday.

"We lost many fantastic players for Chelsea [this season] - [Branislav] Ivanovic, [John Obi] Mikel and John Terry - players who wrote the history of Chelsea".

Chelsea responded by battering the beleaguered Sunderland goal, finishing with five - from Willian, Eden Hazard, Pedro and two by Michy Batshuayi in the dying minutes.

Chelsea boss Conte says Terry was honoured in the right way, despite widespread bemusement at the way he was taken off. The defender was substituted in the 26th minute - and given a guard of honour by Chelsea teammates.

"To try to win the 30 games in this league and then to help the goalkeeper (Thibaut Courtois) to win the golden glove", said Conte.

"We have to find consistency". He deserved this guard of honor.

"I found my players with a great will and desire to improve, to try to change the situation, to try to have another season better than last season".

However, an eagle-eyed watcher managed to spot a hilarious moment prior to that as Diego Costa went up to receive an ovation from the Chelsea faithful and receive his winners medal. "We actually did it about 15 second too early, but we knew it was happening". If you ask me who is the favourite now, I can tell (you) it's Arsenal. Sunderland full back Manquillo shocked the home side as he volleyed into the roof of the net after just three minutes.

The Blues played keep-ball in the area before working it right for Willian to blast in beyond Jordan Pickford.

Antonio Conte thanked the Chelsea fans for their support following their last game of the season.

The assist proved to be Costa's final contribution as he was withdrawn - notably waving as he left the field, further fuelling rumours that he will leave the Premier League in a lucrative move to China this summer.

The Belgium forward then added another in stoppage time to crown a flawless afternoon for Chelsea.

Former captain Dennis Wise carried the gold-topped Premier League trophy to a rapidly-constructed dais and as Terry and Cahill lifted the trophy, blue-and-white bunting rained down on the players while cannons blew celebratory flames into the air.

He said: "Today is without a doubt one of the most hard days of my life". I want to say thanks to my players because every single manager can have a good idea of football.

Chelsea end their Premier League campaign today against Sunderland before next week's FA Cup final with Arsenal.

  • Julie Sanders