Antonio Conte wants Chelsea to win Premier League title on Friday

LONDON -- Antonio Conte urged his Chelsea players to take the first of their "three chances" to become Premier League champions against West Brom on Friday after a dominant 3-0 win over Middlesbrough at Stamford Bridge left the Blues on the brink of the title.

Diego Costa, Marcos Alonso and Nemanja Matic all found the net as Conte's men condemned their struggling visitors to relegation in emphatic fashion and eased seven points clear of second-placed Tottenham, who suffered a shock defeat against West Ham on Friday.

Chelsea now require just one win from their final three matches against West Brom, Watford and relegated Sunderland to confirm a second Premier League title triumph in three years, and after Monday's match Conte challenged his players to seal a "fantastic season" at the first opportunity at the Hawthorns.

Asked what he had said to his players following the Middlesbrough win, Conte replied: "The message was now we need to take another step. In this part of the season, we always said it's right to look at ourselves and not wait for the result of the other teams.

"On Friday we have a good chance to finish this league, to become champions. It won't be easy, but now we have three chances to exploit to become champions. We are very close. But we need to take another step to become champions in the Premier League, a fantastic achievement for us.

"For sure now, I'm a bit relaxed. This step was big, a big step for us. A big win. At this stage of the season, to win is great. Now we need to do another step.

"It's very important for us to go step by step. Next it's West Brom and we have to try to win the league on Friday. It won't be easy. West Brom are a really good team, a physical team, and we must pay great attention. They will want to play a top game against us."

Cesc Fabregas shone at the heart of Chelsea's midfield in the absence of injured FWA Footballer of the Year N'Golo Kante, directly creating the first and third goals for Costa and Matic with floated passes, and Conte had words of praise for his Spanish playmaker afterwards.

"Cesc is one of the best examples for our season because he didn't start a lot," Conte added. "Then, through work, through hard work, he improved a lot. And now he's playing in every game. I think this development of Cesc is our development.

"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. Now Cesc is showing himself to be a fantastic player. I'm pleased for him.

"I saw, this season, that he put himself in this team in every moment -- if he played or if he didn't play."

Defeat confirmed Middlesbrough's relegation back to the Championship, and caretaker manager Steve Agnew stressed the need to reflect and rebuild.

"Everyone is devastated," he admitted. "We've worked so hard for a number of years to get back into the Premier League, and we know how tough it is.

"Obviously we've come up short. I've left a very silent dressing room with everyone, staff and players, absolutely gutted. We can only reflect over the 36 games we've played. We've not won enough games or scored enough goals.

"We all know it's a Premier League football club in everything -- the supporters, the stadium, the training ground, the infrastructure is all there -- so the most important thing is to finish the season strongly with two more games to go.

"We have to gain more points to finish strongly, then everything moving forward will be aimed at getting back into the Premier League as soon as possible."