Chelsea crushes Wigan 8-0 to win Premiership
LONDON, (Reuters) -- Chelsea secured the Premier League title in magnificent fashion by destroying 10-man Wigan Athletic 8-0 in a party atmosphere at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Didier Drogba netted a hat trick to finish top of the Premier League scoring charts with 29 goals as Carlo Ancelotti's rampant side edged an intriguing title race by point from Manchester United, who beat Stoke City 4-0 on the final day.
Nicolas Anelka scored twice and Frank Lampard, Salomon Kalou and Ashley Cole were also on target as Chelsea ended the season with 103 league goals, the first side to pass the century mark in the top flight since Tottenham Hotspur in 1963.
Chelsea, who prevented United winning a record 19th league title and a fourth in succession, can complete the double in next week's FA Cup final against Portsmouth.
"It's been a hard three years watching United win the titles year after year," Chelsea skipper John Terry told Sky Sports before being presented with the Premier League trophy for the first time since Jose Mourinho was coach in 2006.
"It's their turn to watch us today. Now we've got it back we want to do what they did. It's been an up and down year but this is what we've worked for."
It marked a fantastic start in English football for Ancelotti after 33 years playing and coaching in Italy.
"He's brought a calmness to us and a great atmosphere and a free spirit," Terry said.
The only blot on a day of celebrations was a show of petulance from Drogba when he barely celebrated Lampard's penalty which put the Blues 2-0 up, the Ivory Coast striker clearly upset that he had not been allowed the chance to go clear in the race for the Golden Boot.
All was forgotten by the end as Drogba joined his team mates in the fun having scored a second-half hat trick, although he did not get his hands on the match ball after Lampard belted it into the ecstatic crowd.
Any doubts that Chelsea would fluff its lines were wiped out in the opening half hour.
Anelka gave them a sixth-minute lead when he pounced on Florent Malouda's chested pass and Lampard's spot kick made it 2-0 after Gary Caldwell was red-carded for hauling him down in the box.
Kalou made it 3-0 early in the second half and the rest of the game was purely about whether Chelsea would break the 100-mark and Drogba would beat Manchester United's Wayne Rooney to the Golden Boot.
Anelka rattled in a fourth before Drogba got in on the act with a header, a penalty and a tap-in and Cole completed the rout. All that was left to do was spray the Champagne.
It was all a bit flat at Old Trafford where United did what they had to do -- Darren Fletcher, Ryan Giggs and Park ji-Sung all on target, although the sight of Wayne Rooney limping off with a groin injury marred the victory.
Arsenal made sure of third place and a spot in the Champions League group stage with a 4-0 home win over Fulham and fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur lost 4-2 at Burnley, who was relegated along with Hull City and Portsmouth.