Chelsea and Middlesbrough are heading for very different championships after the Blues' 3-0 win
Chelsea need just one more win from their next three games to win the league.
After Tottenham lost 1-0 at West Ham on Friday, Chelsea had three long days to wait to make it count in the title race – their 3-0 win against Middlesbrough has all but assured them of the Premier League title.
But the result had implications at the bottom of the table as well as the top, as Middlesbrough were relegated to the Championship with two games remaining.
Contrasting emotions at Stamford Bridge.— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) May 8, 2017
Chelsea heading for the title
Middlesbrough heading for the Championship pic.twitter.com/zGhd29yQgy
It was a game which, in truth, Middlesbrough rarely looked to have a chance of winning.
65. Goal. Matic makes it 3-0, slamming it in from close-range.— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) May 8, 2017
Relegation has been a long time coming for Boro, who have won just one Premier League game since the new year.
I was quite enjoying the game until the camera panned to a very young Middlesbrough supporter.Never easy watching hearts being broken.— Lou (@lukbon) May 8, 2017
The fans were still in fine voice however, despite heading back down to the Championship.
"We've had a shot" sing Middlesbrough's fans. And indeed they have. No danger though.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) May 8, 2017
Middlesbrough chant "there's only one Stevie Gibson," (Boro owner) as they see themselves near relegation. Pretty admirable support. #CHEMID— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) May 8, 2017
Only noise I hear at Stamford Bridge is that of the away fans. Boro supporters singing entire time despite being 3-0 down. Amazing— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) May 8, 2017
Meanwhile it was a very different kind of championship Chelsea were heading for, namely one with a small ‘c’.
For a while it looked as though Chelsea winning the title was a foregone conclusion – defeats against Crystal Palace and Manchester United in April changed the complexion of the race however.
But the Blues have responded in champion fashion, winning tricky games against Southampton and Everton before beating Middlesbrough.
Chelsea on their way to what will be a deserved Premier League title. Antonio Conte has to be commended for the job he has done - superb.— Matty Roper (@M_Roper96) May 8, 2017
The result is that Antonio Conte’s side go seven points clear of Tottenham with three games left – it was a night to enjoy for the home fans at Stamford Bridge.
Incredible night at the Bridge.— Dan Dormer (@dandormer) May 8, 2017
✅ Chelsea win
✅ Fàbregas assists
✅ Guzman nutmegs
✅ John Terry appearance
Couldn’t ask for more. #CHEMID
Chelsea’s points tally could go as high as 93 by the end of the season.
This Chelsea side on course for 90+ points which only Man Utd 00/01 and 08/09, Chelsea 04/05 and 05/06 and Arsenal 03/04 have done in PL— Michael Cox (@Zonal_Marking) May 8, 2017
Conte fist-pumps to his coaching staff after another chorus of 'Antonio' at Stamford Bridge. He knows his team are all but champions. #CFC— Vaishali Bhardwaj (@VaiBhardwaj) May 8, 2017
The title could be decided on Friday, with Chelsea playing again in four days’ time.
Chelsea win 3-0. One more win will secure the title. Next stop The Hawthorns and West Bromwich Albion on Friday night.— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) May 8, 2017
And despite the importance of the win, Conte showed class in going over to the Boro fans at the end of the game.
Class from Antonio Conte, going over to clap the Boro fans after their team have just been relegated— Oliver Harbord (@ojharbord) May 8, 2017
Surely now it is a matter of when, not if Chelsea win their fifth Premier League title.