But the Blues gave the ideal response, ignoring the doubters to clinch the club's second title in three seasons. "To play with only one forward and two number 10s made us more solid in our defence".
The Blues struggled early on, losing 3-0 to Arsenal before Antonio Conte's switch to a 3-4-3 system.
"It's the best moment in my football career", Batshuayi said after the match, according to Belgian journalist Kristof Terreur.
When his side thrashed Middlesbrough to condemn them to relegation at Stamford Bridge - a result that put the hosts on the brink of winning the league - Conte consoled his beaten opponents, shaking hands and applauding the travelling fans.
"It's great for me to win the title in my first season in England", he told Sky Sports UK.
The Italian won three titles consecutively in Juventus, before moving to Italy and saving Chelsea, who had a chaotic season past year.
This is Chelsea's sixth league title (1955, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2015) and their fifth in the Premier League era.
Michy Batshuayi came off the bench to hit the victor in the 82nd minute and give the Italian the championship at the first time of asking.
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The win took Chelsea to 87 points with two games to play.
Chelsea have been crowned 2016/2017 English Premier League champions after edging West Bromwich Albion 1-0 in a hard-fought game at the Hawthorns on Friday.
Luiz left Chelsea for Paris Saint-Germain in 2014 for 50 million euros (then $57 million), making him the world's most expensive defender even though many pundits said he couldn't really defend.
"We've been the best team in the league". They had a poor start but recovered from that and have been the most consistent.
After last season's 10th-place finish in its title defense, Chelsea has rebounded in a big way. They had determination, persistence, talent, players who know how to execute a game plan and a manager who knows precisely how to define it. This game typified Chelsea's season.
John Terry remains Chelsea's club captain despite hardly playing this season, but Cahill is the current holder of the armband and the pair will lift the trophy together during the official presentation next week.
Chelsea has now won five Premier League titles since Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003, but this one is arguably the most impressive considering it finished a woeful 10th last season.
"It's been a delight to sit and watch, a different perspective".
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