Chelsea 3-0 Middlesbrough: One win separates Blues from PL glory
The Blues are one win away from Premier League glory after a brilliant display at home on Monday, while their opponent will spend next season in England’s second-tier.
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Chelsea handled Middlesbrough, 3-0, at Stamford Bridge after a trio of goalscorers helped pace Antonio Conte’s side to a comfortable victory, the team’s 27th of the 2016/17 campaign.
Meanwhile, the Boro will be playing Championship soccer in the fall after failing to pick up at least a point in Monday’s match. Steve Agnew’s side sit on 28 points with two matches remaining and join Sunderland as two of the PL’s already-relegated sides.
Nemanja Matic put the game to bed in the 65th minute when the holding midfielder chested down a flick-cross from Cesc Fabregas inside the penalty area and proceeded to finish the chance.
Marcos Alonso scored 11 minutes from halftime after stretching near the Boro end line and blasting a near-post shot into the back of the net.
The Chelsea midfield tortured the Boro backline all day with their switching of field, and Cesc Fabregas linked up with his fellow Spaniard for the game’s first goal.
Diego Costa scored his 20th goal of the season in the 23rd minute after the striker controlled Fabregas’ through ball over the top of the Boro defense and finished between the legs of U.s. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
According to Opta Sports, Costa joins Didier Drogba and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink as the third Blues player to score 20-plus goals in multiple seasons for the club.
Chelsea continued its dominating performance after the halftime whistle, with Pedro coming close to making it 3-0 just seconds into the second stanza after clipping his shot off the crossbar.
The Blues nearly enjoyed a dream start when Alonso blasted a volley from a Fabregas cross, but Guzan made a tremendous save and pushed the ball onto the crossbar.
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With three matches remaining, Chelsea now hold a seven-point lead over second-place Tottenham at the summit of England’s top flight. A victory on Friday against West Brom would clinch the PL title for the Blues.