LONDON, May 10 – Chelsea clinched the 2009-10 English Premier League trophy on Sunday. This is how one of the tightest title battles in years unfolded:AUGUST
Chelsea make a strong start to life under new boss Carlo Ancelotti, opening their campaign with four straight wins. United slip up at newly-promoted Burnley and look like they are going to miss Cristiano Ronaldo, despite scraping a 2-1 win over Arsenal, who are already lagging behind after two defeats.
Ancelotti suffers his first defeat as Chelsea boss as Wigan end the Blues’ 100 percent start with a 3-1 win at the DW Stadium. United reel off four successive wins, including a dramatic 4-3 success over Manchester City, to go top by the end of the month. Liverpool are also in the hunt at this stage.
United lose the initiative after drawing at home to Sunderland and losing 2-0 at Liverpool. Chelsea are beaten at Aston Villa but still finish the month two points clear after beating Liverpool 2-0 and then routing Blackburn and Bolton.
Chelsea deliver a major blow to United’s challenge as John Terry’s late header seals a 1-0 win over Sir Alex Ferguson’s side and extends their lead at the top to five points. The Blues look in the mood to take the title as Didier Drogba inspires a 3-0 win at Arsenal.
Neither United or Chelsea enjoy a happy end to the decade as the champions are beaten by Aston Villa and embarrassed 3-0 at Fulham, while Chelsea show worrying defensive weaknesses in a 2-1 defeat at Manchester City and draws against Everton, West Ham and Birmingham.
Chelsea mark the start of the new year with a 7-2 demolition of Sunderland at Stamford Bridge. But United remained firmly in the hunt after a ruthless 3-1 win at Arsenal leaves them one point behind Ancelotti’s team at the end of the month.
United and Chelsea show signs of title nerves as both find it impossible to pull clear at the top. The defending champions draw 1-1 at Aston Villa and lose 3-1 at Everton, but Chelsea can only draw at Hull, while the thrill of a 2-0 win over Arsenal is offset by a 4-2 home defeat to Manchester City.
Chelsea score 17 goals in four matches, with the highlight a 7-1 home win over Aston Villa, but United finish the month one point clear of the Blues after four successive victories, including a 2-1 victory over bitter rivals Liverpool at Old Trafford.
Goals from Joe Cole and Didier Drogba give Chelsea a crucial 2-1 win at United and the Blues look firm favourites as they then beat Bolton 1-0 to open up a four-point lead. The advantage is cut back to one point when United win 1-0 at Manchester City while Chelsea crash at Tottenham. Ancelotti’s men bounce back with a 7-0 win over Stoke.
Chelsea hold their nerve to claim a 2-0 win at Liverpool while United edge past Sunderland to keep the battle alive into the final day. Chelsea thrash Wigan 8-0 at Stamford Bridge to reclaim the title for the first time since 2006. United finish with a 4-0 win at Stoke but slip-ups earlier in the campaign have cost them a fourth consecutive EPL crown.