Chelsea close in on EPL title after condemining Middlesbrough to relegation

Chelsea's Cesc Fabregas has admitted that this season has been a "difficult year" for him but believes his contributions to the team have now surpassed his achievements in other seasons at the club - despite his limited game time.

"Now we need to do another step". We can only reflect over the 36 games we've played.

"We knew what we had to do, it was a tough game with the pressure - positive pressure - but winning a title is not easy", Fabregas added. I must be pleased for the performance, for the commitment, for the desire, for the will of my players.

Chelsea's Marcos Alonso, centre, scores a goal past Middlesbrough's Goalkeeper Brad Guzan during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Monday, May 8, 2017.

SPURS boss Mauricio Pochettino could not hide his disappointment after Friday's 1-0 defeat at West Ham, which leaves their title hopes all but over. "They were pelting us with oranges and one youth threw a bottle of beer which sprayed everyone".

"Only this great season [from us] is pushing them to fight and, maybe, to win or not to win the title".

Boro have netted 26 league goals this term - the lowest in the division - and have five wins in 36 games.

Departing Chelsea captain John Terry made a late appearance in front of the home fans, who may not get to see Chelsea be crowned should the Blues finish the job on Friday.

Now Conte is on course for a double, with the Blues facing Arsenal in the FA Cup final on May 27.

During his pre-match press conference, the Middlesbrough manager said: "I would say that we've not had much luck this season".

"I think this was important for us after the Tottenham defeat, the chance to take three points and make the gap seven points, it was very important to win", Conte told Sky Sports.

Conte is as demonstrative and emotional on the pitch as he is measured and softly spoken off it, though he did admit that in this match he felt "a little bit more relaxed".

Whereas, the PFA player of the year, N'golo Kante is now sustaining a minor thigh muscle injury, which could rule him out of the tie.