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Chelsea 2-1 West Ham: Diego Costa late goal gives Blues victory in opener

Published 15/08/2016

N'Golo Kante of Chelsea warms up prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on August 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
N'Golo Kante of Chelsea warms up prior to the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on August 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
England manager Sam Allardyce and his assistant Sammy Lee (R) await kick off in the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London on August 15, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Ian KINGTON / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images
Antonio Conte scarves for sale before the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 15 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 15 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: The teams walk out during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on August 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: N'golo Kante of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on August 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Chelsea's Spanish defender Cesar Azpilicueta controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London on August 15, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: John Terry of Chelsea challenges Andy Carroll of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on August 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea takes a shot on goal during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on August 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Mark Noble of West Ham United looks on during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on August 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea in action during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on August 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London on August 15, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
West Ham United's New Zealand defender Winston Reid (L) vies with Chelsea's Brazilian midfielder Oscar during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London on August 15, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
West Ham United's Andy Carroll heads the ball during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 15 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Chelsea's Italian head coach Antonio Conte gestures on the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London on August 15, 2016. AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Nemanja Matic (left) and West Ham United's Mark Noble battle for the ball during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 15 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
Chelsea's Diego Costa stretches for the ball in front of West Ham United's James Collins during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PA
West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian reacts after a challenge from Chelsea's Diego Costa during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 15 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: Adrian of West Ham United reacts to a tackle by Diego Costa of Chelsea by showing the scar during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on August 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 15: Adrian of West Ham United reacts to a tackle by Diego Costa of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on August 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Chelsea's English defender John Terry (L) has a word with referee Anthony Taylor during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London on August 15, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Brazilian-born Spanish striker Diego Costa (L) receives a yellow card from referee Anthony Taylor during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge in London on August 15, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea's Diego Costa (left) and Chelsea's John Terry speak with referee Anthony Taylor during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday August 15 2016. See PA story SOCCER Chelsea. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: EDITORIAL USE ONLY No use with unauthorised audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

Diego Costa fired a controversial winner as Chelsea edged out West Ham 2-1 in Antonio Conte's first game in charge, with the Spain striker lucky to be on the pitch after a lunging challenge on Adrian.

The 27-year-old slotted Chelsea's winner one minute from time, but could so easily have been sent off for a ragged second-half challenge on West Ham's goalkeeper.

Costa was booked for dissent in a goalless first-half, but referee Anthony Taylor refused to take action when the Spain forward upended Adrian after the interval.

Eden Hazard's well-struck penalty handed Chelsea the early second-half lead, only for defender James Collins to produce a fine equalising strike.

But just when West Ham thought they would hold firm for a hard-fought point, up popped Costa with a smartly-struck winner, but one that would doubtless anger visiting boss Slaven Bilic.

Former Juventus manager Conte revealed he admires gritty striker Costa's fiery approach in midweek, but the ex-Italy boss may well feel the 27-year-old overstepped the mark with his rash challenge on Adrian.

All that fuss had no impact on the scoreboard however, with ex-Italy boss Conte able to get his Premier League campaign off to a winning, albeit breathless start.

A cagey first-half yielded just two saves in total, West Ham stopper Adrian holding firm for both Branislav Ivanovic's near-post nudge and Willian's curling free-kick.

Hazard ought to have handed Chelsea the lead after ghosting into West Ham's box on a scything left-wing foray.

The Belgium forward curled his low effort wide of the upright however, leaving the animated Conte to slap his thigh in frustration on the touchline.

Oscar had a spurious penalty appeal waved away after light contact from Winston Reid, with Costa booked for dissent in the obligatory inquest.

West Ham certainly missed Dimitri Payet's ingenuity from the outset but the France star started on the bench given his phased reintegration after Euro2016.

All Chelsea's star names were on show by contrast, and one leading light who dimmed markedly last season stepped up to hand the hosts the lead.

Hazard blasted gleefully into the roof of the net from the penalty spot to open the second-half, after Michail Antonio had fouled Cesar Azpilicueta.

Belgium star Hazard needed 27 games to get off the Premier League mark in a torrid battle for form last season but suffered no confidence crisis as he blasted the hosts into the lead.

West Ham boss Bilic made his feelings on Antonio's crude challenge on Azpilicueta clear for all to see, by hooking the defender just moments after Chelsea took the lead.

Willian forced a fine save from Adrian with a neat shot across goal as Chelsea sought to ram home their dominance, leaving Conte kicking at thin air in frustration on the touchline.

Payet joined the fray with some 25 minutes on the clock, paving the way to help haul the visitors back into the contest.

Just when Chelsea sought to close out an untroubled victory though, Collins turned the unlikely hero.

There was nothing rough about the rugged defender's crip equalising strike, the centre-back blasting home with 15 minutes to play.

The leveller had West Ham boss Bilic jumping for joy on the touchline, but that elation proved all too short-lived thanks to Costa's late winner.

Online Editors

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