Costa’s Blues top the charts

Chelsea preda­tor preys on Boro con­cen­tra­tion to reach the league sum­mit

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports -

LONDON/ Chelsea man­ager An­to­nio Conte found him­self ear­lier this sea­son - his first in charge - be­ing asked most weeks about con­trol­ling Spain in­ter­na­tional Diego Costa’s volatile tem­per­a­ment.

Now the for­ward’s scor­ing and all-round con­tri­bu­tion is a more reg­u­lar topic of con­ver­sa­tion af­ter 10 goals and three as­sists have helped fired them to the top of the Premier League.

“Diego is play­ing good foot­ball, with the ball and with­out it,” Conte said af­ter Sun­day’s 1-0 away win over a light­weight Mid­dles­brough.

“He’s a fan­tas­tic striker and is show­ing this.”

The mar­gin was closer than most of ‘Boro’s vain at­tempts at avoid­ing de­feat against Chelsea over the past 10 years but, as their man­ager Ai­tor Karanka rue­fully ac­knowl­edged, leav­ing the livewire Costa free for a sec­ond can be fa­tal.

That was what hap­pened shortly be­fore half­time when four de­fend­ers looked like fig­ures in a spot-the-ball com­pe­ti­tion as the league’s top scorer nipped in amongst them and volleyed the de­ci­sive goal.

“We knew it was go­ing to be hard but we are in the Premier League and one mis­take gets you pun­ished,” Karanka told Sky Sports af­ter the home team’s sev­enth straight loss to Chelsea in all com­pe­ti­tions with­out scor­ing a sin­gle goal.

“Diego Costa is one of the top scor­ers in the world. Be­fore the game I said to my play­ers you can’t lose him for one sec­ond and they lost him,” said Karanka. Costa was more closely guarded early in the sec­ond half but still man­aged to head down David Luiz’s long cross.

REUTERS

Chelsea man­ager An­to­nio Conte and Diego Costa cel­e­brate their Premier League win against Mid­dles­brough at The River­side Sta­dium - Nov 20./

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