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NewsCO.com.au – Chelsea win the Premier League: The numbers behind Blues’ unsung heroes

May 14, 2017

Who are the stars who won Chelsea the title?

Chelsea’s run to the Premier League title may not have had the same romance as Leicester’s unlikely success last season, but there is still something to celebrate for the way they have gone about it.

Beneath the gloss provided by Eden Hazard, Diego Costa and N’Golo Kante, there is an unheralded efficiency to this Chelsea side.

BBC Sport takes a look at the players who have had a quiet impact on a title-winning season, and the unexpected areas that have sealed the championship for the Blues.

All statistics are correct as of 22:00 BST on 12 May, with Chelsea having played 36 games.

Once you have taken a look, consider how many of this current crop of Chelsea players would make it into the squad that won the club’s first Premier League title in 2004-05. Use our team selector below to find out.

Hail, Cesar!

Cesar Azpilicueta has proven his adaptability this season, moving from right-back to a position in a central-defensive three. One thing has not changed though – his reliability.

The Spain defender is one of only three outfield players to have featured in every minute of every Premier League game this season – clocking up 3,240 minutes.

His defensive colleague Gary Cahill has only missed six minutes of action, giving boss Antonio Conte a dependable duo at the back.

Fabulous Fab

When it comes to minutes played, Cesc Fabregas is way, way down the pecking order.

The former Arsenal midfielder, who has said he could have left Stamford Bridge in the summer, has started only 12 league games this term, but his impact has been substantial.

Only three players have provided more than his 11 assists in the top-flight campaign – Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne leads the way with 15, while Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea) and Christian Eriksen (Spurs) have 12.

That trio have played much more football than Fabregas, so it is no surprise that the averages show the Spaniard far outshines his rivals, with an assist every 111 minutes he has been on the pitch.

And having seen his reaction