Chelsea beat Stoke City 2-1 at the Bet365 stadium to temporarily go 13 points clear at the top of the table, and for Stoke City boss Mark Hughes and Eric Pieters, Chelsea are league champions.
“It is Chelsea’s title now and you could see from their celebrations we ran them close,” Hughes told BBC Sport after the game.
“We kept on going, kept on moving the ball but there was a suggestion for a red card for our penalty. It was a little bit feisty, we gave everything and I cannot criticise our players.
“We had a goal disallowed and the player made a meal of the slight push. He was not affecting Bruno Martins Indi getting to the ball.
“We have given a good account against the champions elect.”
When asked if Stoke had played against the Premier League champions, Pieters replied: “Yes, I think we have.”