Founded in 1905, Chelsea would have to wait 50 years for both their first and second league title wins before Roman Abramovich’s arrival ushered in an era of unprecedented success.
Following a 19-year period during which almost every season would end in silverware, it is almost impossible to imagine the Blues not being at the very top of the game.
However, success was far harder to come by for Chelsea in years gone by. They were a yo-yo club in the early years of their existence, nearly men in the 60s and FA Cup winners in 1970 before a financial crisis and even suffering relegation to the Second Division.
The late 80s would eventually bring a change of fortunes on and off the pitch, and Chelsea took great strides forward midway through the 90s under player-manager Ruud Gullit.
But it was when Abramovich bought the club for £140m in 2003 that things changed entirely, with Jose Mourinho named manager a year later.
Chelsea have won the Premier League five times since its inception in the 1992/93 season, all of which came after Abramovich’s takeover of the club.
The first of those came in 2005 – 50 years after the Blues’ one and only league title in 1955, when Ted Drake guided them to victory having modernised the club.
Self-proclaimed ‘Special One’ Mourinho was the mastermind behind their success five decades on, with his expensively-assembled side – with club legends Petr Cech, John Terry and Frank Lampard at its core – losing just once all season as they romped to the title, ultimately finishing 12 points clear of second-placed Arsenal.
Mourinho would make it back-to-back Premier League wins in 2005/06 with a similar squad, sealing first place with a famous 3-0 victory over runners-up Manchester United at Stamford Bridge.
Although they would have success in the cup competitions, Chelsea would have to wait four years for their next title win as Abramovich regularly chopped and changed managers, with Mourinho leaving in acrimonious circumstances in 2007.
Carlo Ancelotti was the man to guide Chelsea to their third Premier League crown in his first season at the club – despite spending relatively little – with that long-standing core of Cech, Terry, Lampard and Didier Drogba proving crucial. Drogba scored 29 times in the league and the Blues would win the title by a single point at Man Utd’s expense, becoming the first team in the Premier League era to score over 100 goals in a season.
However, another barren period would follow, this time lasting five years before Mourinho sensationally returned to the club in 2014. Reinforced by the shrewd signings of Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas, a new-look Chelsea side took the division by storm and won the title by eight points.
The west Londoners endured a dire campaign in 2015/16, finishing in mid-table as Mourinho was relieved of his duties for the second time, before bouncing back the following season under Antonio Conte and winning the title again – their most recent to date.
A 3-0 defeat to Arsenal early in the season led Conte to shift to a three-at-the back system which completely changed Chelsea’s fortunes, with Marcos Alonso and Victor Moses unlikely stars in the wing-back positions and Eden Hazard the talisman in attack. The Blues would ultimately finish seven points clear of nearest challengers Tottenham.
Chelsea league titles: 1954/55, 2004/05, 2005/06, 2009/10, 2014/15, 2016/17
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