Hot at the heels, struck at the play of the game…Antonio Conte’s Chelsea are blistering through the Premier League and now not even the pure excellence of Tottenham can catch them as Chelsea reach within touching distance of the Premier League title, needing a win at West Brom on Friday to secure the all-mighty crown….
It would seem for many as just an ‘ordinary Monday’ but for Middlesbrough and Chelsea fans… all the attention was on Monday night’s match as a Chelsea win would ultimately relegate Middlesbrough from the Premier League and also bring the Blues to within one win short of the title.
Diego Costa gave Chelsea the start they needed after turning in Cesc Fabregas’ pass through the legs of Brad Guzan.
Middlesbrough’s relegation was sadly to be confirmed eleven minutes later as Marcos Alonso scored at the far post via the legs of Guzan (not for the first time) to double Chelsea’s advantage. The home side put more gloss on the scoreline through one of the most unlikely sources: Nemanja Matic as the Serbian ruthlessly finished Boro off with Chelsea running out as clear 3-0 winners in the end.
But there was to be sympathy at the end of the day for Middlesbrough who were left downhearted and dejected at the final whistle. It was as if they wished for the ground to swallow them up but of course it wasn’t to be the end of the world though it felt like it.
Now it only seems possible that the title will be heading in one way in London and that will surely be the South London way after Tottenham’s shock 1-0 loss at West Ham means that Chelsea extend their lead at the top to seven points and the crown shall be theirs should they beat West Brom on Friday. And even if they fail to do so…they also have the chance to clinch the title against either Watford or Sunderland at home in the remaining two games of the season.
You can understand how it feels from a Tottenham perspective after that heart-breaking 1-0 loss against West Ham for which realistically stole the title away from them despite having played some excellent football throughout the course of the season.
The defeat reminded Spurs fans of the same incident last season when they threw away a 2-0 lead at Stamford Bridge to end up giving the title to underdogs Leicester. But for some particular reasons, this defeat will bring Mauricio Pochettino’ s side more pain than last season because for one, this season they have been playing a much more attacking style of football than last season and for two, their statistics from both the team and individual players have been more healthier than ever before. No doubt at all, that we all should take a moment and appreciate the work Pochettino has put in to transform this Spurs side into a driving force that we have seen for the majority of the season. Even an Arsenal fan would admit this…