Chelsea moved to within one win of the Premier League title and confirmed Middlesbrough’s relegation with a consummate performance and emphatic victory at Stamford Bridge.
Antonio Conte’s side can become champions with victory against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Friday night while Middlesbrough must contemplate a future back in the Championship after they were swept aside on Monday.
The Blues had already created a succession of chances before Diego Costa turned in man of the match Cesc Fabregas’ pass after 23 minutes.
And the contest was effectively over when Marcos Alonso scored at the far post via the legs of Middlesbrough keeper Brad Guzan 11 minutes before the break.
Fabregas created Chelsea’s third which Nemanja Matic converted as the hosts laid siege to Boro’s goal, with the final whistle bringing contrasting emotions
n this mood it is hard to see the league title coming from anywhere other than at West Brom on Friday night.
Baggies manager Tony Pulis was watching from the stand at Stamford Bridge and will have gone away with plenty of food for thought after a Chelsea display that oozed class and intent.
Middlesbrough – downhearted, defeated and on their way back to the Championship – were little more than cannon fodder here.