Diego Costa sends Chelsea to top of Premier League

Malta Independent - - SPORTS -

Diego Costa Rock­eted An­to­nio Conte’s side to the top of the Eng­land Premier League as he scored the only goal in a 1-0 win away to Mid­dles­brough.

It was Costa’s 10th league goal of the sea­son as he re­acted fast to turn home from a cor­ner in the 41st minute at the River­side.

Chelsea dom­i­nated most of the match and had other chances to add more goals to their tally, but Pe­dro was unlucky to hit the un­der­side of the bar in the sec­ond half.

It was also a sixth straight win and clean sheet for Chelsea.

Chelsea are now a point clear of Manch­ester City and Liver­pool at the top of the ta­ble, and means they end a week­end at the sum­mit for the first time since they were cham­pi­ons in the 2014/15 sea­son.

While it was not as em­phatic as the Blues' 5-0 drub­bing of Ever­ton, it was another res­o­lute de­fen­sive dis­play as they re­stricted Boro to few clear open­ings.

Mid­dles­brough have now lost their last six Premier League games against Chelsea, fail­ing to score in each match.

Boro had held Ar­se­nal and Manch­ester City to draws be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break and they showed their re­silience in the early stages while also threat­en­ing down the flanks.

The only half chances for Chelsea saw Vic­tor Moses slash a shot wide and Mar­cos Alonso miss the tar­get with an ef­fort from the dis­tance.

The Blues in­creased their pres­sure and were re­warded in the 41st minute as a cor­ner was de­flected up into the air and Costa was quick to re­act to vol­ley into the net.

Boro spurned an open­ing when Ramirez missed the tar­get from the edge of the area, be­fore Chelsea cre­ated a cou­ple of clear chances in quick suc­ces­sion.

First, Pe­dro fired against the un­der­side of the bar from Costa's knock down, be­fore Moses shot over af­ter en­ter­ing the area un­hin­dered.

The misses kept Boro in the game but they never re­ally came close to scor­ing.

Chelsea man­ager An­to­nio Conte cel­e­brates the vic­tory over Mid­dles­brough Photo: AP

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