A brilliant strike from Danny Drinkwater denied Chelsea the chance to mark Guus Hiddink’s final game in charge with a win, earning Premier League champions Leicester City a 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.
Hiddink took over from Jose Mourinho in December and helped steer the club into the top half of the table, but Drinkwater’s effort ensured he would not get a winning send-off before Antonio Conte takes the reins next season.
Leicester clinched the title following Chelsea’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham on May 2, and the Foxes were welcomed onto the pitch by last season’s winners with a guard of honour – Claudio Ranieri, Blues manager from 2000 to 2004, receiving a warm ovation from the home fans.
Kasper Schmeichel produced excellent saves to keep Willian and Cesc Fabregas out in the first half, but he was beaten 21 minutes after the restart. After substitute Jeffrey Schlupp felled Nemanja Matic inside the box, Fabregas slotted a cool finish from the penalty spot beyond the Dane.
The deposed champions were unable to see out the win, though, with Drinkwater, returning from suspension in place of Shinji Okazaki, firing beyond Thibaut Courtois – back in the line-up after recovering from illness – with eight minutes remaining.
However, Drinkwater denied Chelsea the chance to send Hiddink off with three points, firing beyond Courtois with eight minutes remaining to end the champions season of highs on another positive.
Stoke’s win at home to West Ham leaves Chelsea 10th after a season of stagnation, while Leicester end their memorable campaign 10 points clear of second-placed Arsenal at the summit.