Chelsea secured a dominant 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough on Monday to relegate Steve Agnew’s side and move a step closer to the Premier League title.
Two first-half goals by Diego Costa and Marcos Alonso sent the Blues on their way and Nemanja Matic scored at Stamford Bridge for the first time to wrap up the win in the second half.
The league leaders, who are seven points clear of Tottenham with three games to play, can clinch the title with victory at West Brom on Friday Night Football.
Boro barely threatened and the defeat makes it a swift return to the Championship one year and one day since they earned promotion against Brighton.
Spurs’ defeat at West Ham last Friday eased the pressure on Antonio Conte’s side and they took full advantage to move within touching distance of a second title in three years.
They now need just three points from their remaining three matches, with the visit to The Hawthorns followed by home games against Watford and Sunderland.
Football Writers’ Player of the Year N’Golo Kante missed out with a muscle injury, handing Cesc Fabregas the opportunity to start.
The Spaniard was at the centre of Chelsea’s commanding first-half display, creating their first chance inside 120 seconds.
His fine pass picked out Alonso but the wing-back saw his left-foot volley hit the crossbar. Cesc Fabregas provided two assists against Middlesbrough
The near miss only delayed the inevitable as Fabregas dragged an effort wide and Alonso went close again before Costa opened the scoring for the seventh time this season, more than any other player.