Huddersfield Town secured Premier League football for another season and dented Chelsea’s hopes of a top-four finish at Stamford Bridge.
The Terriers are definitely safe after moving above Southampton into 16th place and only a minor miracle can now stop Swansea being relegated on the final day.
Swansea require the Saints to slip up on Sunday while also winning their match with Stoke City and a huge swing in goal difference to preserve their top-flight status.
Meanwhile, Tottenham’s win over Newcastle at Wembley has left Antonio Conte’s side with it all to do this weekend in the race to qualify for the Champions League.
The Blues need to beat Rafa Benitez’s Magpies in their final fixture of the campaign and hope from a favour from Brighton at Anfield against Liverpool.
Conte appears to be a dead man walking at the Bridge and missing out on Europe’s top club competition could well prove the final straw for ruthless owner Roman Abramovich.
Huddersfield’s 1-1 draw here would have been painful to watch from the sidelines for Conte as David Wagner’s side used every trick in the book to get over the line.
Players went down with cramp to break up the play and goalkeeper Jonas Lössl pushed the referee’s patience too far and was booked for time wasting.
But their travelling fans didn’t care how they got the job done in the capital and celebrated wildly at the full-time whistle as survival was secured.
Laurent Depoitre opened the scoring after the interval as he ran through the Blues backline like a battering ram, taking out Willy Caballero in the process, before finishing smartly.
Antonio Rudiger spurned two good chances as Chelsea knocked hard on the Huddersfield door before they finally got themselves back on level terms.
Marcos Alonso was the man to beat Lössl, although he knew nothing about it as a wayward clearance cannoned off his face and rebounded into the Terriers’ net.
Then came the game management from a well-drilled Huddersfield side as they showed maturity to overcome the inevitable onslaught from the Blues.
However, there was to be no happy ending for Conte in what could be his final game in charge at the Bridge as his position looks more precarious than ever.
This result leaves Chelsea and Swansea relying on others to help them get over the line and save their seasons when all is said and done on the final day.
Source: Matt Lewis