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Last Updated: Saturday, 30 April, 2005, 18:25 GMT 19:25 UK
Chelsea's magic numbers
Stat number oneStat number twoStat number three Stat number fourStat number fiveStat number sixStat number sevenStat number eightStat number nineStat number 10Stat number 11Stat number 12

By Dan Warren

You do not need a calculator to work out why Chelsea have won the league title for the first time in 50 years.

Brilliant defence, a midfield to die for, sharp strikers and a self-proclaimed "special manager" in Jose Mourinho have helped the Blues sweep all before them in the league.

That, of course, is not to mention a certain Russian billionaire. But it is not just Roman Abramovich's cash which has ensured the Premiership title will be on display at the Stamford Bridge trophy cabinet next season.

Here we crunch the numbers which have shaped Chelsea's brilliant season.

(All statistics taken at 30/04/05 - as title was confirmed)


Number one:
The number worn by the awesome Petr Cech, who set new standards of Premiership goalkeeping this season.

The 22-year-old went 1,025 consecutive league minutes between conceding Thierry Henry's free-kick at Highbury on 12 December 2004 and Leon McKenzie's header at Carrow Road 83 days later - a new record.

The Blues' title win was built on defence and anyone fortunate enough to get past PFA player of the year John Terry et al was unfortunate enough to meet a keeper who kept a remarkable 24 clean sheets.

Some might say, however, it's the least the Blues should expect. Cech's 7m price tag means he cost more than every other keeper in Chelsea's history put together.

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Number two:
The number which represents the longest run of league matches Chelsea have gone without a win.

Appropriately enough, this sequence has happened twice - in September and April - and it is the closest Chelsea have come to a slump in form.

A goalless draw at Villa Park on 11 September was followed by a similarly score-free match at Stamford Bridge against Tottenham - after which Mourinho infamously accused Spurs of "leaving the bus in front of the goal."

And successive home draws against Birmingham (1-1) and Arsenal (0-0) followed earlier this month - hardly, it has to be said, the stuff of football nightmares.

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Number three:
The number of Premiership records within Chelsea's grasp this season.

Anyone at the club will tell you that the title matters more than the record books. But to put the icing on the cake, two wins in Chelsea's final three games would better Manchester United's record of 28 wins in a 38-game season.

If the Blues do so, they will also beat United's all-time Premiership record of 92 points - set in the 42-game season of 1993-94.

And Arsenal's proud record of conceding the fewest goals - 17 in the 1998-99 season - could also be beaten. At the moment of clinching the title against Bolton, the Blues had let in just 13.

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Number four:
The number of goals Chelsea have scored in seven separate Premiership matches this season - the most they have managed in any single game.

Such striking prowess, however, left critics such as Arsenal defender Lauren less than impressed.

"It seems a lot of the top honours are being won by defensive sides rather than ones who attack, like us," he moaned as the Blues stood on the brink of taking the Gunners' crown.

Sour grapes? Perhaps. If not, Blackburn, West Brom, Fulham, Charlton, Newcastle, Norwich and Crystal Palace - who all let in four against Mourinho's men - must be mightily relieved that Chelsea did not choose to go for it against them...

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Number five:
The number of trophies won by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho before moving to Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho won a treble in 2002-03, his first full season at Porto - adding the Uefa Cup to the domestic league and cup.

And the 3-0 Champions League final win over Monaco in May 2004 went alongside another Portuguese league title to confirm Mourinho's status as one of the world's top coaches.

Two more trophies have already followed this season. The charismatic Portuguese may be seen as arrogant by his detractors - but no-one can argue with his achievements.

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Number six:
The number of different players to score a Premiership goal against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge so far this season.

That compares with 29 players who have found the net at struggling Norwich, while even Arsenal have seen 15 different opposition players score at Highbury in the Premiership.

Two Bolton players are in this exclusive club, Kevin Davies and Radhi Jaidi who both scored in November's 2-2 draw.

And the roll of honour includes Crystal Palace's Aki Riihilahti, Birmingham's Walter Pandiani, Fulham's Collins John and James Beattie, then of Southampton, although he rather undid his good work by netting an own goal later in the same game...

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Number seven:
The number of British-born players to make an appearance for Chelsea under Jose Mourinho.

Although the Blues have been able to sign the cream of the world's talent, Mourinho's side beats with an English heart, defender John Terry and midfielder Frank Lampard forming the core of his team.

Joe Cole has blossomed since the New Year and is now an automatic pick for England, while Glen Johnson has also been a regular starter in 2005. And Wayne Bridge and Scott Parker both featured under Mourinho before injuries struck.

Meanwhile, strike up the bagpipes for Steven Watt, the lone representative for the rest of Britain. The Scot's solitary appearance came in the FA Cup win over Scunthorpe.

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Number eight:
The number of league games Chelsea won in a row from 18 December to 2 February to cement their rise from title hopefuls to odds-on title favourites.

Although short of Arsenal's Premiership record of 14 consecutive wins, the Blues' streak saw them pull clear of the Gunners and Manchester United in the table.

The run was only ended when Chelsea's nemesis, Kevin Keegan, came with his Manchester City side to Stamford Bridge to grab a 0-0 draw, to follow up their 1-0 win in Manchester earlier in the season.

That has made them the only team so far to take four points off Jose Mourinho's men - and the only side to keep two clean sheets against the Blues.

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Number nine:
The number of major trophies won by Chelsea in the 99 years prior to this season - an average of one every 11 years.

It is 50 years since Chelsea's last - and only other - league title, and although quality silverware has been won over the years, it has not been on display at Stamford Bridge as frequently as it has at Old Trafford, Highbury or Anfield.

Three FA Cups, two Cup Winners' Cups, two League Cups and one European Super Cup complete the Blues' haul before this season.

Nevertheless, Mourinho's men have now added another two trophies to the list, and do not rule out a Champions League win to complete a remarkable treble...

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Number 10:
The number of 1-0 wins achieved by Chelsea so far in this campaign - the most of any Premiership team.

If any statistic demonstrated the fine margins which divide the winners and the also-rans in the Premiership it is this one.

Everton and Liverpool both twice fell to single-goal defeats to Chelsea, and Manchester United, Birmingham, Middlesbrough, Aston Villa, Blackburn and West Bromwich Albion have also been seen off with a solo strike.

If just half of those teams had held out for the goalless draw, the title would still be very much up for grabs.

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Number 11:
The number of different players to score a league goal for Chelsea this season.

As if to prove Chelsea's team ethic, Jose Mourinho could field an entire starting XI of goalscorers - and maybe add James Beattie to the bench, after his own goal while playing for Southampton in August.

The key to Chelsea's success is that they have not relied on any one man to find the net - top scorer Eidur Gudjohnsen has just 11 league goals, some way behind leading striker Thierry Henry.

And, it seems, if you stop Gudjohnsen and 10-goal Didier Drogba, then the midfielders - Frank Lampard, Arjen Robben, Joe Cole and Damien Duff - will get you....

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Number 1.02:
The amount of money spent - in millions of pounds - every day since Roman Abramovich took over Chelsea on 1 July 2003 until the title was won on 30 April 2005.

Abramovich paid 140m to buy the club from Ken Bates and just over 213m has since been splashed on transfer fees.

Didier Drogba 24m
Ricardo Carvalho 19.9m
Damien Duff 17m
Hernan Crespo 16.8m
Claude Makelele 16.6m
Adrian Mutu 15.8m
Juan Sebastian Veron 15m
Paulo Ferreira 13.2m
Arjen Robben 12m
Scott Parker 10m
Tiago 8m
Wayne Bridge 7m
Petr Cech 7m
Geremi 7m
Joe Cole 6.6m
Glen Johnson 6m
Mateja Kezman 5m
Alexei Smertin 3.4m
Jiri Jarosik 3m *
(* Estimated fee)


The wage bill for Abramovich's first 12 months in charge was 115m, with about another 100m spent on wages since July 2004 - and there is also a 115m interest-free loan given to the club by the Russian.

The costs have been offset by television, sponsorship and other revenues.

But with 683.3m forked out in the 670 days between Abramovich's takeover and the title being secured, it means an average of 1.02m has been spent on every single one of those days.

To put that in perspective, it is enough to buy a semi-detached house in Kensington and Chelsea - average price 1.9m - every other day for 22 months. With enough left over to furnish with accoutrements from the swankiest shops on the plush King's Road.

Still, Abramovich has recently displaced Russian oil Mikhail Khodorkovsky as Russia's richest man with an estimated personal fortune of 7.67bn. A mere 683m is small change to him.

The Premiership has proved to be an expensive cup to buy - but to the fans, it will be worth every penny.

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