Pulis salutes ‘wor­thy cham­pi­ons’

New Straits Times - - Sport -

LONDON: Tony Pulis hailed Chelsea as ‘wor­thy cham­pi­ons’ af­ter An­to­nio Conte’s side se­cured the Pre­mier League ti­tle with vic­tory at West Brom on Fri­day night.

Michy Bat­shuayi was the un­likely hero for Chelsea, net­ting only his se­cond league goal of the sea­son with eight min­utes to go at the Hawthorns as the Blues won their se­cond ti­tle in three sea­sons.

Pulis be­moaned his side’s fail­ure to get the ‘break’ they needed to de­lay Chelsea’s ti­tle party. But the West Brom boss was gra­cious in de­feat, con­grat­u­lat­ing the cham­pi­ons on be­ing the best side in the divi­sion.

“They’re wor­thy cham­pi­ons, they take a lot of credit and could do the dou­ble,” he told BBC Sport. “They’re a won­der­ful team and they’ve been the best. They had a poor start but re­cov­ered from that and have been the most con­sis­tent. We gave them a re­ally tough game though.

Pulis added: “It’s the de­ci­sions that play­ers make and a lit­tle bit of qual­ity that makes the dif­fer­ence, but I can’t fault the play­ers. Chelsea got the goal and they de­serve to win the league.”

Fri­day’s vic­tory means Chelsea wrapped up the ti­tle with two games to spare — a feat that looked un­likely in the early months of the sea­son.

Chelsea could still win the dou­ble with vic­tory over Arse­nal in the FA Cup fi­nal later this month and af­ter Fri­day’s clash Pulis was full of praise for the way the Ital­ian turned round Chelsea’s sea­son.

“It’s good work­ing against the top man­agers, which Conte is. He’s been fan­tas­tic. His en­thu­si­asm and at­ti­tude but he’s also very good tac­ti­cally.

“I had a chat with him be­fore the game and he recog­nised he had to change it ear­lier in the sea­son, or he might have got changed him­self. He changed their shape and they’ve been su­perb from that mo­ment on­wards.” Daily Mail

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