Thibaut Courtois: 'Chelsea had to respond to last season's critics'

The Blues sealed their second Premier League title in three years when they won 1-0 at West Brom on Friday night.

Former Premier League winning manager Claudio Ranieri is proud to see Antonio Conte carrying the torch for the school of Italian coaching with Chelsea this season.

The Italian, victor of three Serie A titles as Juventus manager, has transformed Chelsea from flops to champions in one season with largely the same group of players.

Cape Town - Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois has not forgotten the club's struggles of last season, after they reclaimed the Premier League title on Friday. He won the league three seasons in a row during his time with Juventus and was eventually offered the Italian National Team job.

Chelsea could add another piece of silverware this month when they face Arsenal in the FA Cup final on May 27. "Michy repaid me a lot for this choice", Conte said with a smile.

"To arrive at this moment, with this great opportunity, we worked very hard for the whole season and now it's important to be ready and try to take this step and then to celebrate together".

Coming from behind to inflict Tottenham's first league defeat of the season, Chelsea's 2-1 home win - secured by goals from Pedro and Victor Moses - sent them back to the top with a seventh consecutive victory.

"We work for [the fans]".

Conte took over last summer following a bad campaign that saw Chelsea finish 10th in the league, and the Italian took little time to transform a depleted west London outfit.

Asked if he would be at Stamford Bridge next season, Conte said: 'Yeah, yeah. We have had three competitions this season - league, FA Cup and League Cup - and for this reason I think some players didn't find a lot of space [to play].

The Belgium worldwide believes Conte's side are good enough to launch an assault on the Champions League next term, after a one-year absence.

As reported by Chelsea's official website, Luiz said: "He likes to work, that is his secret".

But the 47-year-old suggested after the title success at The Hawthorns that he wanted to build on the rejuvenation he has led this season with Champions League football in 2017/18.

Youth-team graduates Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathaniel Chalobah will also hope to make their first league starts of the campaign in Chelsea's last two fixtures.

  • Julie Sanders