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Chelsea close in on title and condemn Boro to relegation

Britain Football Soccer - Chelsea v Middlesbrough - Premier League - Stamford Bridge - 8/5/17 Chelsea manager Antonio Conte Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

LONDON (Reuters) - CHELSEA 3 MIDDLESBROUGH 0

First-half goals from Spaniards Diego Costa and Marcos Alonso and a tap-in by Nemanja Matic propelled exuberant Chelsea to within three points of clinching the Premier League title on Monday and condemned Middlesbrough to relegation.

Costa got his 20th league goal this season, controlling a ball lofted into the area by compatriot Cesc Fabregas and neatly nutmegging keeper Brad Guzan. Two Spaniards were involved in the second goal, Cesar Azpilicueta feeding Alonso to score.

With Antonio Conte's team buzzing, Matic put away the third in the 65th minute to pile the misery upon Boro, who will join north-east neighbours Sunderland in the second tier next season.

Chelsea can claim the title in Conte's first season in charge even before nearest rivals Tottenham Hotspur play again if the west London side win at West Bromwich Albion on Friday.

(Reporting by Clare Lovell; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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