Chelsea beats Middlesbrough, one win away from EPL title

Goals from Diego Costa and Marcos Alonso in the first half sealed Middlesbrough's fate and Nemanja Matic's second half strike added the icing to Chelsea's 3-0 win at home.

Chelsea have 84 points from 35 games followed by Tottenham Hotspur on 77 points also with three games remaining.

Chelsea's manager Antonio Conte shouts as Chelsea's John Terry prepares to comes on during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Monday, May 8, 2017. If his side can clinch the three points they need at West Brom on Friday it will be one heck of a party but with Chelsea able to reach 93 points with three wins to end the season, it's unlikely Conte will let his side relax too much. Chelsea were without their injured France worldwide N'Golo Kante, who won this season's PFA and football writers' Player of the Year awards, but Spaniard Cesc Fabregas controlled the midfield with nearly languid confidence in his absence.

The Blues won 3-0, sealing Middlesbrough's fate and guaranteeing that they will not be playing Premier League football next season.

"Antonio! Antonio!" was the chant from the Stamford Bridge faithful throughout the win against Boro on Monday and he turned to the fans during the game and applauded every stand.

Fabregas was widely looked at as one of the biggest culprits for Chelsea's bad campaign under Mourinho previous year, eventually leading to the Portuguese manager's sacking.

Such is the intensity of his behaviour during a game, it would be unsurprising if his actions were to have offended rival managers throughout the season, but barring Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, whose complaints must be taken with a pinch of salt, Conte has commanded the respect of his peers.

But the win over Middlesbrough was only the seventh time Fabregas has completed the full 90 minutes in the league this season. We must be pleased.

"It's great for me, it's great for my players and it's great for the club to see this atmosphere".

"At the start of the season it wasn't easy because he didn't play a lot but he showed me he is performing well". We are showing that we deserve to win the league. "West Brom will want to play a good game against us, but we are ready". It is big and this is our answer to Tottenham because they won nine games and lost only one in their last 10 games.

  • Julie Sanders