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Chelsea retain the title in style

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Chelsea captain Terry proudly shows off the championship trophy.

LONDON, England -- Chelsea became only the second team to win back-to-back Premier League titles when they crushed Manchester United 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

Their victory over the only other club to retain the crown since England's top flight changed its name for the 1992/93 season left them 12 points clear of United with two games left.

"It's a fantastic feeling...that's the second in England after two in Portugal," Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports, before Terry lifted the trophy.

Mourinho also won successive titles in his native Portugal with Porto, as well as the Champions League.

Defender William Gallas gave Chelsea a perfect start, nipping in to head past Edwin van der Sar after four minutes when Didier Drogba knocked on Frank Lampard's corner.

A magnificent goal by Joe Cole past the hour made it 2-0 and Ricardo Carvalho finished off a sweeping move with a fierce shot after 73 minutes to put the title party in full swing.

The one blot on the occasion was United and England striker Wayne Rooney being carried off on a stretcher after a fair challenge from Paul Ferreira in the 78th minute that left him clutching his foot in pain.

It was later revealed that Rooney had broken his right foot and would be out for six weeks. It is exactly six weeks before England start their World Cup finals campaign against Paraguay.

Chelsea skipper John Terry also hobbled out of the stadium having had 10 stitches inserted in a gash in his shin following a clash with Rooney.

Mourinho drew a contrast between Chelsea's two successful title campaigns -- their first since they won the championship for the first time way back in 1955.

"Last season was different, no one believed we would win, last season we were six, seven points ahead and still people doubted," said Mourinho.

"This year, in December, we were a long way clear and people were already saying we were champions."

"Manchester United were fantastic and I think today the result doesn't show how difficult it was for us."

Terry added: "There was no way I was going to come off. I was desperate to stay on and enjoy the moment."

"Chelsea deserve all the credit," said Ferguson. "3-0 was harsh but we let in soft goals and when you do that against Chelsea you have to take your medicine."

Mourinho's men have carried on where they left off last term by combining rock solid defending with a relentless attack, striking from midfield with Lampard or up front through Drogba.

Terry led a back line that looked almost invulnerable, helping Chelsea win their opening nine games and remain unbeaten until going down to United at Old Trafford in early November.

At the turn of the year, they led United by nine points, a lead that increased, despite a 3-0 drubbing at Middlesbrough, to 18 by mid-March.

Multi-national

Chelsea's multi-national mixture of doughty defense and speedy counter-attack led by rotated wingers Dutchman Arjen Robben, Ireland's Damien Duff and Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips of England proved a winning formula.

But Mourinho worried that leading the table from so early in the season might cause problems with motivation later.

Ferguson's side, with games in hand, began to chip away with a long winning run of their own and Chelsea dropped points against lowly Fulham and Birmingham.

The lead was whittled down to seven before Chelsea replied with renewed spirit, beating West Ham 4-1 on April 9 after scoring all their goals while a man down following the sending off of Portugal midfielder Maniche.

United were unexpectedly held to a 0-0 draw by Sunderland and Chelsea capitalized by winning the rest of their games to move within a point of the title before Saturday's showdown.

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