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Middlesbrough v Chelsea - story of the match

Published 20/11/2016

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte oversaw a sixth straight Premier League win without conceding
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte oversaw a sixth straight Premier League win without conceding

Diego Costa bundled home his 10th goal of the season to send Chelsea to the top of the Premier League with a 1-0 triumph over gutsy Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

Costa turned in an Eden Hazard corner after it deflected off two Boro defenders in the box to set his side up for their sixth straight league win - and all without conceding a goal.

Pedro almost added a second when he smashed a shot against the woodwork but battling Boro might have snatched a point when Alvaro Negredo drew a late save from Thibaut Courtois.

TWEET OF THE MATCH

"Chelsea are looking strong. Very strong" - BBC and BT Sport presenter Gary Lineker.

MOMENT OF MATCH

If anything exemplified Eden Hazard's return to form it was his deliciously delayed cross-field pass to Victor Moses which almost set up Chelsea's opener in the 21st minute. Moses slashed his effort across the face of goal, denying the Belgian the assist his skills deserved.

IN WITH THE CROWD

They might have had their misgivings in the course of a stuttering start to the campaign, but there is no mistaking where the hearts of the Chelsea travelling army now lie as they sung the name of new boss Antonio Conte throughout. The home fans in the sold-out Riverside Stadium provided plenty of vocal encouragement - but there seemed to be a tacit acceptance that their favourites had been beaten by the better team.

RATINGS

Middlesbrough

Victor Valdes 8 (out of 10)

Fabio 7

Ben Gibson 6

Alvaro Negredo 6

Adam Clayton 6

Marten De Roon 7

Antonio Barragan 7

Gaston Ramirez 8

Calum Chambers 6

Adam Forshaw 7

Adama Traore 7

Substitutes

Stewart Downing (for Fabio, 71) 6

Viktor Fischer (for Clayton, 73) 6

Grant Leadbitter (for Forshaw, 89)

Chelsea

Thibaut Courtois 7

Marcos Alonso 7

N'Golo Kante 8

Eden Hazard 9

Pedro 7

Victor Moses 9

Diego Costa 8

Nemanja Matic 7

Gary Cahill 7

Cesar Azpilicueta 7

David Luiz 7

Substitutes

Nathaniel Chalobah (for Pedro, 80) 6

Branislav Ivanovic (for Moses, 89) 5

Oscar (for Hazard, 90) 5

WHO'S UP NEXT?

Leicester v Middlesbrough (Premier League, November 26)

Chelsea v Tottenham (Premier League, November 26)

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph