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Full-time: Middlesbrough 0-1 Chelsea

  • In-form Chelsea go top of the Premier League table after securing a sixth consecutive victory without conceding at the Riverside Stadium
  • Diego Costa reacted fastest to turn home his 10th goal of the season after the hosts failed to clear a corner shortly before half-time
  • Victor Valdes made a tremendous fingertip save to deny Pedro, who also struck the crossbar
  • Middlesbrough, the top-flight's joint-lowest scorers, came closest when Thibaut Courtois turned an excellent Alvaro Negredo volley around the post
  • 'Boro have lost all of their last seven meetings with Chelsea across all competitions and remain 15th, one point above the relegation zone
Diego Costa
Jan Kruger/Getty Image
18:14

That just about wraps up IBTimes UK's live coverage of the penultimate game of Premier League matchday 12. We do have a Monday night fixture this week, with West Brom set to entertain Burnley in what is sure to be an attritional encounter at the The Hawthorns.

Goodbye for now.

18:11

That defeat brings Middlesbrough's three-match unbeaten streak to an end. They had performed well to thwart both Arsenal and Manchester City in recent weeks, but ultimately they found it too tough a proposition today to breach this impregnable Chelsea defence.

They remain 15th and only one point above the bottom three ahead of a trip to struggling defending champions Leicester City next Saturday. Karanka's men have won two and drawn five of their opening 12 matches back at this level.

18:06

There is simply no stopping Chelsea right now as that 10th goal of the season from Costa sends Conte's side above Manchester City and Liverpool to the summit of the Premier League.

They have now clocked up six straight wins without conceding a single goal, scoring 17 times in the process to improve their formidable goal difference to +18. What an incredible turnaround it has been since that dreadful defeat to Arsenal in September.

Their mettle will now be severely tested by a London derby clash with Tottenham Hotspur at Stamford Bridge next weekend. That is followed by a trip to the Etihad Stadium.

Diego Costa and Antonio Conte
LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images

17:55

Full-time

Middlesbrough 0-1 Chelsea

17:54

Luiz heads away a late free-kick and Barragan fails to pick out Ramirez with a long pass.

That should be all she wrote.

David Luiz
LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images

17:52

Conte attempts to eat up more precious seconds with his third and final substitution. Oscar replaces Hazard, who is understandably in no rush to leave the pitch.

17:50

The fourth official holds up his electronic board and signals four minutes of added time.

Can Chelsea hold onto their slender advantage and finish the weekend top of the Premier League?

17:50

A change apiece from both managers as the clock ticks down to the end of 90 minutes.

'Boro captain Grant Leadbitter replaces Forshaw and Conte, who still has one sub remaining, withdraws Moses in favour of Branislav Ivanovic.

17:48

Chalobah blocks a cross from fellow substitute Fischer and Negredo is unable to control Downing's inventive pass on the stretch.

Goal kick.

17:46

Into the final five minutes now. Can Middlesbrough frustrate a title contender with a late equaliser for the second match in a row?

17:45

Moments after receiving what looked very much like his own final warning from Moss, Ramirez again avoids a yellow card for knocking over Hazard.

Luiz puts too much on the subsequent free-kick and it sails over the bar.

17:40

Conte introduces former 'Boro loanee Nathaniel Chalobah with his first change. Pedro walks off with 11 minutes plus stoppage time remaining.

17:39

Barragan's interception fuels a swift Middlesbrough counter. Traore runs at Luiz before cutting inside and picking out Negredo.

The ball is played behind the ex-Manchester City striker, but an exquisite first touch sets up a well-struck volley that is turned around the post by Courtois.

17:36

Costa looks to muscle his way through Middlesbrough's defence near the centre circle and Chambers is cautioned for pulling him down.

Traore then blazes over from the edge of the Chelsea penalty area.

Adama Traore
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

17:33

Alonso produces a horrid mis-kick with his weaker right foot and Kante has his name taken for hauling down Adam Forshaw.

Karanka then makes his second change in quick succession. Attacking midfielder Viktor Fischer comes on in place of Clayton.

17:31

The first substitution from either side sees Fabio make way for Downing.

17:29

End-to-end stuff at the Riverside now with just over 20 minutes left to play. Fabio sends in a deep cross from the left flank but Alonso does just enough to prevent De Roon from making a connection.

17:27

Chelsea launch a quick counter-attack after Courtois confidently claims possession from a Middlesbrough corner.

Costa sprints forward and waits for a gap to emerge before sliding in Moses. Played onside by Barragan, he loses composure under pressure from Valdes and lashes the ball into row z.

Victor Moses
LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images

17:25

Crossbar!

Luiz flights in a terrific cross for Costa, who nods the ball down for an unmarked Pedro to thrash against the woodwork with his left foot.

So close.

17:23

Negredo is flattened from behind by Luiz. Moss waves play on with Traore in possession, but the Spaniard is quickly surrounded by Chelsea defenders and his shot is blocked.

'Boro continue to turn up the heat but to no avail. They are still very much in this game.

Adama Traore
Jan Kruger/Getty Images

17:17

The home fans are in fine voice as they will their side to find an equaliser. Luiz makes a vital clearing header and Ramirez is penalised for upending Hazard.

17:16

Middlesbrough piece together an incisive passing move that sees Traore find Clayton before a super dummy from Negredo opens things up for Ramirez.

The former Southampton and Hull playmaker takes a touch to set himself before firing his shot over Courtois' crossbar.

That was a real waste.

17:13

Azpilicueta miscues a clearance straight into the path of Ramirez and is then booked for trying to make amends for that initial error by cynically tripping the Uruguayan.

Ramirez's powerful free-kick then hits Luiz in the wall and goes out of play for a throw-in on the far side.

17:09

An inviting cross from Moses falls safe and De Roon is handed what will likely be his final warning after deliberately leaving a foot in on Costa.

Any further infringements and he will pick up a yellow card.