Chelsea 1 Charlton 0
Chelsea marked their title celebrations in entirely appropriate fashion -
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victorious and at the centre of controversy - as Claude Makelele struck a
dramatic late winner against Charlton.
Having spent 50 years planning the party, Stamford Bridge was determined to
enjoy it as Chelsea's fans rose to salute Jose Mourinho's side in celebrating
their first title triumph since 1955.
However, they were forced to wait until the final minute before Talal el
Karkouri was penalised for bringing down Frank Lampard.
The foul looked to have been outside the area and contact was at best minimal,
but the penalty was still given and the ball was handed to Makelele.
The Frenchman's first effort was saved but he netted the rebound with a mishit
to score his first goal for the club in his 94th appearance.
It was harsh on Charlton but then Chelsea have demonstrated the class and,
indeed, luck of champions all season and this was their day after a campaign in
which they have courted controversy and plaudits in equal measure.
Champions League success may again have eluded the club but this has still
been the most successful season in their 100-year history, with the title having
been added to the Carling Cup.
And the thousands of fans crammed inside Stamford Bridge were not prepared to
allow their midweek European setback at Anfield to spoil their day.
They chanted for Roman Abramovich and for Jose Mourinho, they 'stood up for
the champions' and they hailed John Terry and Lampard. And that was even before
Compared to the celebrations, the match was merely a sideshow. Which was just
as well, really, as it was a largely humdrum affair.
Chelsea created several first-half chances, but Lampard directed one free
header over the bar and Eidur Gudjohnsen volleyed another effort wide.
Charlton were also indebted to keeper Stephan Andersen, who kept his place
despite having conceded four goals against Manchester United last weekend.
He produced one acrobatic save to tip a fierce drive by Joe Cole on to the
bar, while he was also out quickly to foil the midfielder as he broke clear.
Cole clipped another shot wide of the far post, but Charlton also threatened
on the break, with Jonathan Fortune lifting one half-chance over the bar and
directing another effort inches wide.
Charlton's goal continued to live a charmed life after the restart, with Terry
rising to meet Glen Johnson's deep cross only to crash his header against the
face of the crossbar.
Chelsea were struggling to make their possession count and remained vulnerable
to the counter-attack.
Indeed, Charlton were rising to the occasion and Carlo Cudicini was required
to produce an excellent save to tip Matt Holland's drive around the post.
Still Chelsea pressed and still they wasted openings. Lampard clipped the ball
through to Cole, who fired that chance wide before promptly flashing another
effort over the top.
Mourinho needed goals, but instead opted for sentiment, bringing on
third-choice keeper Lenny Pidgeley for his first-team debut with nine minutes
Pidgeley was soon called upon to make an important block, but the real drama
was reserved until the last minute when Makelele struck his late penalty
The Premiership trophy awaited and Stamford Bridge's celebrations could
finally begin in earnest.
Chelsea Cudicini (Pidgeley 82), Johnson (Jarosik 67), Terry,
Ricardo Carvalho, Gallas, Makelele, Cole, Lampard,
Tiago (Forssell 67), Gudjohnsen, Geremi.
Subs Not Used: Kezman, Huth.
Goals: Makelele 90.
Charlton Andersen, Young, El Karkouri, Fortune, Konchesky,
Kishishev, Holland, Murphy, Hughes, Johansson, Lisbie.
Subs Not Used: Kiely, Fish, Rommedahl, Fuller, Euell.
Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire).