Chelsea 5, Sunderland 1
Departing captain John Terry paid tribute to Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in an emotional farewell after the Premier League champions thumped bottom club Sunderland.
Terry left the field in the 26th minute – a reference to his shirt number – in a choreographed end to the last match at Stamford Bridge of his glittering 19-year Chelsea career.
The former England skipper, 36, then used a post-match address to thank Blues supporters, team-mates and managers and his family – reserving special praise for Abramovich, whose wealth and ambition has turned Chelsea into one of the world’s most powerful clubs since his 2003 takeover.
“I think we all have to thank this man up here as well, Mr Roman Abramovich,” said Terry.
“I’d personally like to thank him – for me the best owner in world football, without a doubt. This man cares and looks to improve year in, year out. Roman, on behalf of myself, the players and all the supporters, thank you very much.”
Terry, who could yet feature once more, in Saturday’s FA Cup final against Arsenal, has spoken of returning as a coach or manager and reiterated that sentiment, adding: “I’m going to come back here one day.”
Chelsea recovered from falling behind to Javier Manquillo’s shock fourth-minute goal to despatch Sunderland with goals from Willian, Eden Hazard, Pedro and Michy Batshuayi, who scored twice.
Conte calls for signings
Manager Antonio Conte called on the club to build on this season’s success by strengthening the squad in the summer.
“I think this moment is very important for Chelsea. We are in a moment it’s right to build something important,” he said.
“We lost many fantastic players for Chelsea [this season] – [Branislav] Ivanovic, [John Obi] Mikel and John Terry – players who wrote the history of Chelsea. Now it’s important to create a good foundation and build something important for the future.”