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Diego thunderbolt secures dramatic derby win

Diego Costa

Match Reports

Diego thunderbolt secures dramatic derby win

Diego Costa scored a sumptuous late winner to earn Antonio Conte his first win in the Premier League.

The new Chelsea manager named marquee signing N’Golo Kanté in the starting eleven and saw his Blues side dominate proceedings against a subdued West Ham United.

With one eye quite possibly on their upcoming Europa League tie, the visitors started slugishly and were fortunate to be on level terms at the break.

Only the introduction of Dmitri Payet after 65 minutes gave the Hammers any sort of attacking impetus as they looked a shadow of the side that secured a top six finish last term.

Branislav Ivanovic went closest for the hosts in the first half, and Chelsea should have had a penalty when Oscar was felled by Winston Reid.

But they were duly awarded a spot-kick when Cesar Azpilicueta was upended by Michail Antonio just seconds after the interval, with Eden Hazard doing the honours from twelve yards.

Chelsea totally bossed the game but got caught out by the ultimate sucker punch as James Collins thrashed a half-volley beyond Thibaut Courtois.

But Conte and his side had the last laugh as Diego Costa, who had been an effervescent presence throughout, threaded an inch-perfect finish inside the side netting from fully twenty yards to send Stamford Bridge into raptures.


Conte celebrated maniacally; jumping along the touchline and embracing the fans behind the dugout as the Blues moved up to third in the early season table. That sort of passion is a far cry from the impassive Guus Hiddink and the sullen silences of José Mourinho, and is likely to help create a fiery atmosphere inside Stamford Bridge.

It was the least they deserved after totally dominating against their cross-town rivals, having mustered 62% of the possession and forcing several fine saves from the West Ham keeper.

Indeed, Adrian had to make smart saves from Ivanovic and Willian in the first-half, with the Spaniard again denying the latter smartly early in the second half. Contrastingly, Courtois was almost unemployed, though he had no chance of stopping Collins’ stunning equaliser.

Eden Hazard looked a revitalised figure, and with a goal to even further boost his confidence after a stellar showing at Euro 2016, the Belgian could well be the man to secure an immediate return to the Champions League for the Blues.

Kanté was excellent on debut, and fellow new signing Michy Batshuayi looked composed in a brief cameo late on, with the former Marseille man having the time to set up the winner with a deft cushioned header into Diego Costa’s path.

Another man who impressed for the short time he was on the pitch was Victor Moses, who, after yet another promising pre-season, finally looks like he will be given a second shot under Conte.

With their best football still yet to come, this is a confidence inducing result for the Blues, who now travel to Watford on Saturday afternoon.

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Alex has been a Chelsea fan for two decades. Since a very young age, he's followed the Blues both home and away. His favourite-ever Chelsea players are Roberto di Matteo, Carlo Cudicini, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, and Petr Cech.

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