Key moments in the 2009/10 Premier League season:
Nov 8 2009 – Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.
United are by far the better team in the first head-to-head of the season but Chelsea snatch the win with a 76th-minute John Terry header to end the day five points clear and with their belief boosted that they can foil United’s bid for an unprecedented fourth successive title.
January – Didier Drogba, John Mikel Obi and Salomon Kalou depart for the African Nations Cup and everyone waits to see how Chelsea will cope without them.
In their absence Chelsea win five out of five in league and cup, scoring 19 goals in the process. Manager Carlo Ancelotti realises that with Nicolas Anelka playing as a lone front man his midfielders get into the box more than when Drogba was on duty, giving him a tactical option which he uses to good effect later in the season.
March 21. Days after being knocked out of the Champions League by Inter Milan a tame-looking Chelsea are held to a 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers to fall four points behind United.
Ancelotti, his staff and the players subsequently get together for a “clear-the-air meeting” and all emerge re-energised for the assault on the Premier League. Without the annual distraction of the Champions League the next two games produce 5-0 and 7-1 wins and a new desire for domestic success.
March 30. Wayne Rooney twists his ankle in the final moments of United’s Champions League quarter-final first leg defeat at Bayern Munich.
Days later the England striker, whose amazing season had spearheaded United’s challenge on all fronts, watches from the stands as Chelsea win 2-1 at Old Trafford and also misses the costly goalless draw with Blackburn where Dimitar Berbatov fails to rise to the occasion in his place.
Rooney limps through the remainder of the season but looks semi-fit and fails to score again.
April 25. Having been outplayed by Spurs in a 2-1 defeat the previous week and seen United move back to the top of the table, Chelsea roar back past them for good with one of their most impressive performances in years.
Their 7-0 demolition of Stoke City is their record top-flight win and could easily have produced double figures.
May 2 – Chelsea are struggling to make any impact at Anfield where they know they have to win when a stray Steven Gerrard backpass gifts Drogba the opening goal.
Liverpool are deflated, Chelsea take command and finish it off with a second by Frank Lampard to leave them needing just a home win over Wigan to take the title.
May 9 – Chelsea secure the title in magnificent fashion by destroying 10-man Wigan Athletic 8-0 in a party atmosphere at Stamford Bridge.
Didier Drogba netted a hat-trick to finish top of the Premier League scoring charts with 29 goals as Carlo Ancelotti’s rampant side edged an intriguing title race by point from Manchester United, who beat Stoke City 4-0 on the final day.
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar; To comment on this story email firstname.lastname@example.org)