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Published: Tue, May 09, 2017
Sport | By Desiree Waters

Chelsea's Fabregas sets Premier League assists record


Chelsea are within touching distance of winning their first Premier League title under Antonio Conte and a win today against struggling Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge will take them a step closer to the trophy.

Tottenham's loss to West Ham means Chelsea need just six points from their last four to be champions.

Chelsea will be crowned champions should they beat Middlesbrough and West Brom on Friday. Spurs play Manchester United on Sunday.

Chelsea lead the Premier League with four games left and are in the final of the FA Cup in Conte's first season in charge, but the Italian's preference for stability has resulted in some established players being reduced to impact substitutes.

Premier League rival managers have said that Chelsea's lack of European football has been an advantage to them on the road to European success but Conte believes that too much has been made of Spurs' extra eight games across Uefa competitions.

There were also some rumours regarding Belgian Keeper Thibaut Courtois's fitness after the Chelsea number one hurt his ankle in the win over Everton last match.

The Italian is aiming to win the league and FA Cup double in his first season. "But we have one year to work and then the possibility to go into the market and choose the right players on my idea of football".

And if we have seen the end of Tottenham's bid for the unexpected, Pochettino and his players should be applauded for sprinkling a modicum of interest in what looked a boring title challenge. It is very hard, very strong and it's totally different to the Italian or Spanish leagues.

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Mendieta has been surprised by the relative comfort with which the Stamford Bridge club have risen to the summit, but cited Conte's early-season switch to a 3-4-3 formation as vital.

Fabregas also brought up his century of assists quicker than Giggs and the only two other players to hit triple figures; Wayne Rooney and Frank Lampard. "If you are happy, or unhappy, I don't care".

Conte said: "I live my work in an intensive way".

Conte said to the Mirror: "For sure, we are in a moment of transition".

Were Conte to pull it off, and the coming week will surely be decisive with Chelsea's final two games at home to Watford and Sunderland, then the achievement will be celebrated just as loudly in his native Italy. If Boro are going to survive relegation, they'll likely have to win their three remaining games.

But perhaps the biggest cheer of the night came in the 84th, as captain John Terry was introduced for a cameo appearance, as he nears the end of his 19-year career with the club having announced he will depart at the end of the season.

"Next season for us it will be the same".

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