Full Time: Chelsea 3-0 Middlesbrough
Chelsea moved one more step closer to the Premier League title triumph, when they secured a comfortable 3-0 win over bottom feeders Middlesbrough on Monday night at the Stamford Bridge.
It was Diego Costa who broke the deadlock for the Blues with a clever finish between the goalkeeper Brad Guzan’s legs in the 23rd minute and full-back Marcos Alonso doubled the advantage for Chelsea eleven minutes later, after being picked out by Cesar Azpilicueta. Midfielder Nemanja Matic made it 3-0 in the 65th minute to seal the game for good.
The result meant, Chelsea are just a win away from confirming their title victory with Tottenham Hotspur dropping points on Friday night, while it also confirmed Boro’s relegation to the EFL Championship. Here is how the Chelsea players fared on the night:
Chelsea Player Ratings
Thibaut Courtois – 6/10
Had one simple save to make. Other than that spectator for the rest of the match as his team dominated the game.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 8/10
Absolutely rock solid in defence, found the space and time to carry the ball out from the back as well and did so with great effect. Great ball to pick Alonso out for the second goal.
David Luiz – 7/10
Passed well from the backline and was strong in air and solid overall. A comfortable night for the Brazilian.
Gary Cahill – 8/10
Wasn’t flustered by the pace of Adama Traore and defended well. Had a great shot saved in the second half. Sound and composed at the back.
Victor Moses – 7/10
Had very little to do defensively, with Stewart Downing pegged back in his own half. Always available on the overlap, but not to a similar effect as Alonso on the opposite flank.
Cesc Fabregas – 10/10
Brilliant. Pulled the strings from the middle of the park with his exemplary passing. Two great assists for the first and the third – in the process, he became the first player in the Premier League to record 10 or more assists in six different seasons. Amazing.
Nemanja Matic – 8/10
Sat back and allowed Fabregas to run the show as he did the defensive work and stayed solid. Finished well for the third goal.
Marcos Alonso – 9/10
Had all the space and time to bomb up and down the left-hand side and did so with devastating effect. Had a shot deflected off the crossbar early in the game, before finding the back of the net later in the half. Always a threat with his running.
Pedro – 8/10
A lively presence in the final third, worked hard on and off the ball. Unlucky not to score as he hit the crossbar in the second period.
Diego Costa – 8/10
Notched up his 20th goal of the season with a smart finish. Caused serious problems to the Boro defence, but was let down on a few occasions by his first touch.
Eden Hazard – 7/10
A quiet night for the Belgian international. His movement was again top notch, but he couldn’t stamp his authority on the game. Taken off in the second period.
Willian – 7/10
Replaced Hazard for the final 20 minutes. Bright.
Nathaniel Chalobah – NA
Came on for Pedro in the 81st minute. Tidy in possession.
John Terry – NA
Replaced Luiz for the final 5 minutes. Each touch of his received a loud cheer as his time at the Stamford Bridge draws to an end.