2014-2015: The Blues are the best of the bunch
|Champions||Chelsea||Biggest Win||Southampton 8-0 Sunderland|
|Runners-Up||Manchester City||Highest Scoring Game||Everton 3-6 Chelsea|
|Third Place||Arsenal||Top Goalscorer||Sergio Aguero (26)|
|Relegated||Hull City, Queens Park Rangers, Burnley||Goals Scored||975|
When Jose Mourinho returned to Chelsea in the summer of 2013, his aim was always making the club the team to beat in England once again but admitted it would take time. After a near-miss in his first campaign back on these shores, he strengthened quickly with the additions of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas. These moves put the Blues’ at the head of the field for the majority of the 2014-2015 campaign.
Chelsea won their first five matches and never looked back. Although reigning champions Manchester City did briefly go level at the top on New Years’ Day after Chelsea lost 5-3 at Tottenham Hotspur, Mourinho’s men always looked in command. Costa scored 20 goals in his first campaign in England, including seven in his first four matches, whilst Fabregas created the most goals and skipper John Terry rolled back the years, playing in every single minute of the campaign.
The player of the season though was Eden Hazard. The Belgian sparkled with some crucial matchwinning performances and was the rightful winner of the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award. It was his goal in early May that settled the destiny of the championship. Chelsea’s 1-0 victory at home to Crystal Palace ensured them of the title with three games left to play. They lost only three matches all season.
Manchester City finished as runners-up and only a five-game winning sequence at the end of the campaign ensured them of that position. Frank Lampard made the surprising move to the Etihad Stadium on-loan from MLS club New York City and scored against Chelsea too whilst 26 goals was enough for Sergio Aguero to win the Golden Boot.
Arsenal and Manchester United took the other two Champions League spots. We saw the first glimpses of Alexis Sanchez in English football whilst Louis van Gaal replaced David Moyes in the hotseat at Old Trafford and after a shaky start, managed to steady the ship at the Theatre of Dreams.
2014-2015 was the season where Harry Kane came of age at Tottenham Hotspur. He scored 20+ goals as Tottenham finished fifth in Mauricio Pochettino’s first campaign in charge after leaving Southampton. Liverpool FC sold Luis Suarez, bought badly and limped over the finishing line in sixth, suffering a humiliating 6-1 loss on the final day to Stoke City. It was a sad goodbye for Steven Gerrard who left at the end of the season to finish his club career in the MLS with LA Galaxy.
Leicester City pulled off one of the greatest escapes in Premier League history. They were bottom of the table at the start of April and seven points adrift of safety. Then, they went on an incredible run to record seven wins from their last nine matches. Nigel Pearson had worked wonders to steer them to an unlikely survival. His reward in June was the sack from the club’s owners after too many off-field indiscretions. These included a touchline confrontation with Crystal Palace’s James McArthur and calling a local journalist “an ostrich” after a defeat to Chelsea. Despite an 8-0 humiliation at the hands of Southampton in October, Sunderland survived again and so did Newcastle United after a final day victory over West Ham United. This ensured Hull City went down, along with Queens Park Rangers and Burnley.
2014-2015 wasn’t the most vintage season but Chelsea were the best of the bunch and by some distance too. Few could predict though the following season’s sharp decline for the new champions.