05292017

‘We are showing that we deserve to win the league’ – Chelsea boss Conte

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Chelsea showed they deserve to win the league – Antonio Conte

Manager Antonio Conte says his Chelsea players are worthy of winning the Premier League title.

The Blues are now one win away from securing their fifth league trophy after beating Middlesbrough 3-0 at Stamford Bridge on Monday.

Conte, 47, told BBC Match of the Day: “This is my first season in England in a tough championship.

“I’m delighted for my players, they deserve this. We are showing that we deserve to win the league.”

Chelsea face West Brom on Friday with a seven-point advantage over Tottenham, who play Manchester United on Sunday.

The Blues finish their league season with games against Watford and relegated Sunderland.

“Now, we have taken another step to the title. We have to rest well and prepare for West Brom,” Conte said after Monday’s victory, which relegated Boro back to the Championship.

“We must try in the next game to become champions. West Brom will want to play a good game against us, but we are ready.”

Fabregas shows his class

Cesc Fabregas was brought into Chelsea’s starting line-up after N’Golo Kante was ruled out through injury, and the Spaniard was Chelsea’s stand-out player.

He provided the pass for Diego Costa’s opener and Nemanja Matic’s third, and has now claimed 10 assists and four goals in 26 games. Marcos Alonso scored Chelsea’s second.

“It’s been a difficult year for me. I’m used to playing a lot but I feel I have matured a lot,” former Arsenal midfielder Fabregas told Sky Sports.

“Many people told me I am not the type of player for Antonio Conte and I should leave but I like challenges.

“I hadn’t played every game but I think I have played in the last 20 games. When I have been on the pitch maybe my contribution is better than a full season.”

Former Chelsea and Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer said on Match of the Day: “His interview just shows the calibre of the player. He wants to play week in, week out.

“He has got so much in the locker, his ability on the ball, how he is able to pick out players from anywhere on the pitch is outstanding.

“He may be lacking pace but his reading of the game is still world class. Every time Chelsea want an option or need an outlet, they go to Fabregas.

“He has been the ultimate professional and a huge weapon for Chelsea.”

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