Chelsea clinches EPL title as Eden Hazard goal sinks Crystal Palace

    (CNN)There had been an air of inevitability for several weeks but Sunday Chelsea completed the task and duly clinched the English Premier League title with a 1-0 home win over Crystal Palace.

    Manchester City beat Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 later in the afternoon, but the three points took the west London side into an unassailable advantage over the defending champion and third-placed Arsenal.
    Fittingly, it was PFA Player of the Year Eden Hazard who scored the only goal of the match just before halftime after winning a penalty.
      It was not without controversy, as there appeared to be very little contact when the Belgian international went sprawling in the area under a challenge from James McArthur.

      Hazard scores winner

      Hazard got up to take the spot kick, his weak effort was saved by Julian Speroni, but he scored with a header on the rebound.
      It was Hazard's only miss from ten penalties he has taken in the EPL this season, but his 14th goal of the campaign was the crucial statistic and enough to take Jose Mourinho's men over the winning line.
      In common with recent Chelsea displays, including the goalless draw at Arsenal last weekend, the emphasis was on the result rather than open and attacking football and there was little second half goalmouth action.
      For Mourinho, it was his third EPL title with Chelsea and first since his return to the club at the start of the 2013-14 campaign.
      Earlier this season, Chelsea took the English League Cup, beating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the final at Wembley.
      It was revenge for a 5-3 beating at White Hart Lane on New Year's Day, a rare hiccup in a triumphant league season.
      The goals of Diego Costa, many of them assisted by fellow pre-season signing Cesc Fabregas, took Chelsea into an early lead in the title race with the other challengers unable to keep pace.
      But it has been Hazard who has proved the ultimate star, winning the acclaim of his fellow EPL players for his sparkling performances.

      Terry condolences to Ferdinand

      "We deserve to be champions, and everyone at Chelsea is happy today," he said.
      "The manager (Mourinho) gives me a lot of feelings and I can play my best football on the pitch which is the most important thing," he added
      Captain John Terry, the lynchpin of the Chelsea defense, particularly in the title run-in, broke off from the celebrations to send his condolences to former England defensive partner Rio Ferdinand.
      Ferdinand's wife, Rebecca Ellison, died of breast cancer at the age of 34 Friday.
      "On behalf of myself and everyone at Chelsea, we send our condolences to Rio Ferdinand and his family."
      Terry was banned for four games by the English FA in 2012 for racially abusing Ferdinand's brother Anton in a match against Queens Park Rangers.
      Manchester City's title hopes had receded in recent weeks, but weathered a spell of early Tottenham pressure at White Hart Lane to claim a victory which improves its chances of claiming second spot.
      EPL top scorer Sergio Aguero broke the deadlock in the first half for his 22nd league goal of the season and City maintained its lead after a series of fine saves from Joe Hart.

      Napoli thrashes Milan

      In Serie A, AC Milan's poor season continued with a 3-0 defeat at fourth-placed Napoli, losing defender Mattia De Sciglio to a red card after 50 seconds.
      He fouled Marek Hamsik to concede a first minute penalty but goalkeeper Diego Lopez saved Gonzalo Higuain's spot kick.
      It took three second half goals in six minutes from Hamsik, Higuain and Manolo Gabbiadini to win the game for Rafa Benitez's team to stay in the hunt for a Champions League slot.
      Milan is 10th and way outside the Europa League places.
        Off the pitch, Thai tycoon Bee Taechaubon has issued a statement claiming he has reached a deal to take over the club from Silvio Berlosconi, but this has not been confirmed by Milan.
        Earlier, Roma leapfrogged Lazio into second place after a 2-0 win over in-form Genoa.