Six in a row puts Blues clear at top
Antonio Conte hailed Chelsea's win over Middlesbrough as a vital victory in the race to secure the Premier League title.
The Blues shot to the top of the league thanks to Diego Costa's 41st-minute winner at the Riverside yesterday.
With huge showdowns coming up against Tottenham and Manchester City, Chelsea boss Conte saluted his side's sixth win in a row - and sixth successive clean sheet.
"It was very important," he said. "It was very important because these are tricky games.
"Now we have the week to prepare for a tough game against a strong team in Tottenham.
"It was a good performance against a very strong team, they drew with Arsenal and City, for this reason I am pleased with our performance.
"We played a good game, against good opposition, and created many chances to score the second goal. It's important to kill the game."