Diego Costa sends Chelsea to top of Premier League

Chelsea's Diego Costa celebrates his goal against Middlesbrough. Photo / AP
Chelsea's Diego Costa celebrates his goal against Middlesbrough. Photo / AP

Chelsea moved to the top of the English Premier League today after a first-half strike by Diego Costa earned the visitors a convincing 1-0 victory at Middlesbrough.

Chelsea dominated the game and was rewarded for its unrelenting pressure when Costa scored four minutes before the break, reacting quickest to a loose ball after a goalmouth melee and firing home from close range. It was his 10th goal of the season.

Middlesbrough showed more ambition in the second half but the next clear chance also fell to Chelsea, shortly after the hour mark, when defender David Luiz pushed forward and sent a high cross into the area. Costa headed the ball back invitingly for Pedro Rodrguez - but his first-time shot slammed against the crossbar.

After six consecutive league wins without conceding a goal, Chelsea now has 28 points from 12 games in Antonio Conte's first season in charge.

Liverpool and Manchester City have 27 points each, with Arsenal in fourth with 25.

- AP

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