Belfast Telegraph

Diego Costa in focus

Diego Costa made it 20 Premier League goals this season with the opener as Chelsea edged closer to the title with a 3-0 victory over Middlesbrough.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a closer look at the striker's performance.


Known for his fiery temperament, Costa looked full of energy and eager to work hard to regain possession at every opportunity. His form had dipped substantially since Chinese Super League outfit Tianjin Quanjian's reported interest first surfaced during the January transfer window, but here he was determined to cause Boro problems.


There were a few neat one-twos with Eden Hazard on display, but the Spaniard's link-up play was not at its fluid best as a number of passes were easily intercepted by the Boro defence.


Costa just failed to get a touch on Hazard's low cross with the goal at his mercy, but he made no mistake when he beat the offside trap from a Cesc Fabregas pass and finished through the legs of Guzan. Costa did not get into the six-yard box enough against a Boro side who looked vulnerable all night, only coming close to adding to his tally when he was unable to get on to the end of Marcos Alonso's cross.


Chelsea are clearly a better side when their powerful front man is on top of his game. This was not a man-of-the-match showing from the Spain international, but his presence up front certainly strengthens Antonio Conte's side.


From Belfast Telegraph