Terrific 3-0 win over Boro sees Chelsea now just one win away from the title
Chelsea were terrific in their 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough this evening as the Blues took yet another huge step towards the Premier League title at Stamford Bridge.
Diego Costa’s tidy goal from Fabregas’ assist opened the scoring after 23 minutes of play, and Marcos Alonso’s zero-angle finish doubled the scores ten minutes later to give the Blues a two-goal lead after first half.
Second half was also completely in Chelsea’s control, and the visitors simply found no way to stop the Blues from their title charge. Nemanja Matic put the hosts three ahead and Boro could count themselves lucky not to have conceded more.
Overall the game was very much in control of the hosts as Chelsea started to put on the pressure right after the first whistle got blown. Boro barely got the ball into Chelsea third inside the first quarter of an hour, as the Blues seemed rock solid in both ends.
Alonso hit the bar early on, but Chelsea’s best chance of the first 20 minutes came through a neat long ball for Hazard, whose lovely low cross from in between the legs of Fabio came straight towards Costa in a run, but Friend’s late tackle was enough to keep the hosts goalless – but not for long.
Just two minutes after that, Cesc Fabregas found his main man Diego Costa from the box, and the Spaniard coolly finished the ball into the back of the net beneath the arriving Brad Guzan! A very nice control from the striker as Fabio got a crucial touch to the ball just before it came for the 28-year-old. Class goal!
Boro had a good chance for an equalizer quickly after as David Luiz’s poor clearing header fell straight for De Roon inside the box, but Gary Cahill’s lovely block kept the Blues’ cleansheet on the table.
Chelsea then netted the second of the night as Cesar Azpilicueta’s edge-cutting through ball was lobbed for Alonso in a swift move from left to right, and the Spanish wing-back slid in beautifully to finish off his sixth league goal of the season from what almost looked like an impossible angle to score from. 2-0 after 34 minutes of play and the title was already palpable.
Alonso was close to hit a second just nine minutes later, but his good-looking free-kick was deflected for a corner with a slight touch from the wall.
The first half came to a close in a healthy 2-0 lead for Chelsea, and the second half continued with the exact same domination as we saw from the first period. Pedro fired a heavy shot to the crossbar of the goal from the edge of the area, and the dominating passing-play resumed quickly after.
Costa had another great chance from a yard away, as this time Alonso fired a lovely cross in-front of the net, but the Spanish striker’s feet were just a bit too slow to connect. A minute after that Fabregas’ deflected volley almost bounced into the back of the net, but Boro held on – but again, not for long.
After a tussle in the middle of the visitors’ penalty area, Fabregas received the ball on the right hand side of the box, where he beautifully chipped the ball back into the middle with the outside of his foot for Matic, who controlled it down with his chest and slotted home his first goal at Stamford Bridge. All the previous ones he has netted for Blues have been scored away, but this time he got to taste the great great feeling of scoring at home.
The rest of the game was mainly in Chelsea’s control as the visitors barely had a chance for goal. The Blues fans also got to enjoy substitutions of Willian, Chalobah and of course John Terry all taking part in the latter stages of the match.
With this victory Chelsea extend their lead at the top of the table to seven points clear, and only need one victory from their remaining three fixtures – meaning that the title could be clinched as soon as this Friday when we travel to West Bromwich! COME ON CHELSEA!