Wednesday 20 February 2019

Diego Costa focus

Chelsea's Diego Costa scored the Blues' fourth goal of the afternoon
Chelsea's Diego Costa scored the Blues' fourth goal of the afternoon

Chelsea striker Diego Costa scored in Chelsea's 4-2 win over Stoke on Saturday as he returned from suspension.

The 28-year-old Premier League top scorer had sat out the 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Boxing Day.

Here Press Association Sport looks at how he fared against the Potters.

GOAL THREAT

Costa made a quiet start but nearly found the back of the net after 18 minutes when he brought down Cesc Fabregas' cross and his volley was saved by a diving Lee Grant. He later made the most of the Potters tiring and scored in the 85th minute when he held off Bruno Martins Indi to fire across goal into the top right corner.

CREATIVITY

There were fleeting moments of brilliance from Costa as Chelsea struggled to control possession against a Stoke side who were throwing everything at the game. On the ground his threat was apparent but in the air he was making little happen. Although Costa stands 6ft 2in tall, he made little impact at set-plays against the likes of Ryan Shawcross and Peter Crouch.

DISCIPLINE

Costa was involved in an altercation with Charlie Adam just before the half-hour mark after they contested a challenge. Each man made his complaint known to the other, before they walked away laughing together. Costa appeared to be mostly on his best behaviour, bubbly with team-mates and showing little of the aggression and moody nature that can get him in trouble.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

Stoke manager Mark Hughes, who spent three years as a player with Chelsea, would know what to expect from Costa. Hughes was a similar player to the Brazilian and had his defence well primed. Costa put the game to bed with his 14th goal of the league season and showed his unmistakable value to the leaders, but not before a tough afternoon of battling to make his presence felt.

Press Association

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