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Chelsea vs. Middlesbrough, Premier League: Half-time report

Chelsea lead comfortably at the half thanks to Diego Costa's 20th of the season and a Brad Guzan own goal.

Chelsea v Middlesbrough - Premier League Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Chelsea started well and have yet to let up, the 2-0 lead barely a proper reflection of the Blues' dominance in the first 45 minutes.  Not even referee Craig Pawson's extremely lenient card-hand has been able to keep the visitors in the game.  Most other referees would've handed out a few yellows and perhaps even a red or two by now: (Clayton studs-first tackle on Fabregas, Chambers fouling Costa on a tap-in that was not even called).

Soon after that uncalled penalty, Costa did open the scoring, killing a Fabregas diagonal with a sumptuous (or lucky) first touch and then nutmegging poor Brad Guzan for his 20th goal.  Chelsea had been picking apart Middlesbrough with diagonals all game, and it was only a matter of time before one of them paid off.  In fact, Alonso almost scored off of one at the very start, but Guzan somehow deflected it up onto the bar.  Fortunes flipped on Chelsea's second, as Guzan deflected an Alonso cross into his own goal.

So, Chelsea two to the good, with the promise of more.  Boro look resigned to their fate, with relegation guaranteed if they lose today.


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