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Conte hints at Cesc stay

20 May 2017, 02:22 | Joan Schultz

Defeat at Chelsea relegated Middlesbrough

Defeat at Chelsea relegated Middlesbrough

Antonio Conte reserved special praise for Cesc Fabregas after the Spaniard's Man of the Match display in the win over Middlesbrough.

Middlesbrough captain Ben Gibson labelled his team's relegation from the Premier League as the worst moment of his life after a 3-0 defeat against Chelsea sent them back to the Championship on Monday.

Asked to compare the successes with Chelsea, the Belgium goalkeeper told TalkSPORT: "It's hard to say because obviously in the first year I came here, I came from winning the league in Spain and straight away we won the league, so that was very nice".

"We started the season not in the right way, with a lot of problems, but only through hard work did we find the right solutions and the right way". But my players showed me great commitment, great focus, will and desire to overcome this moment.

"It's great for me, for my players, for the club to see this great atmosphere", the Italian added.

"Now he is deserving this".

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Tottenham Hotspur's surprise defeat at West Ham United last week handed Chelsea the initiative and they can now seal a second title triumph in three years if they win at West Bromwich Albion on Friday. "Of course we are happy we are so close but we have to stay concentrated to the end".

The Blues travel to The Hawthorns needing a win to claim the league title, but as The Baggies are enjoying an impressive season of their own, Brunt is eager to reward their fans with one more home win.

But Chelsea are expected to field a full-strength team, with N'Golo Kante in line to return after sitting out Monday's win over Middlesbrough. Nemanja Matic got the third goal in the 65th from another neat Fabregas chip to pile the misery on Boro, who will join north-east neighbours Sunderland in the second tier next season. "Players, staff, myself. We've got to put that right", he said.

Once Antonio Conte switched his formation to a 3-4-3, Chelsea went on a tear and never looked back.

"I've had to have patience and accept that sometimes these thing happen".

"So we have to finish the season strong". I'm delighted for my players, they deserve this. We have two games to go. It's not important where we win - it's important to win and then you have the time to celebrate wherever you want.



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