Costa double helps Chelsea extend lead to seven points
Sports

Costa double helps Chelsea extend lead to seven points

Happenings

By Williams ‘Bantu’ Irubor

Chelsea restored their lead at the top of the Premier League to seven points with a convincing win over Southampton at Stamford Bridge.

Antonio Conte’s side had seen their advantage cut by Tottenham after the Blues’ loss at Manchester United – but this was an emphatic response to follow on from Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final win against their London rivals Tottenham.

en Hazard and Diego Costa were both back in the starting line-up after Wembley and were key figures, the Belgian putting Chelsea ahead with a low shot after five minutes.

Former Chelsea midfielder Oriol Romeu bundled in an equaliser for Saints before Gary Cahill headed Chelsea back in front right on half-time, a moment that effectively decided the destination of the points.

Costa confirmed Chelsea’s supremacy with a header early in the second half before scoring his second with a low shot late on.

Ryan Bertrand, another former Chelsea man, was on target in the dying seconds – but the victory was secured for Conte’s men and now Spurs must respond at in-form Crystal Palace on Wednesday (20:00 BST kick-off).

Conte manoeuvred his resources to perfection in the victory against Spurs at Wembley – and did it again here as Hazard and Costa made decisive contributions to a vital Chelsea win.

Conte raised eyebrows when he left his two most dangerous attackers out of his starting line-up on Saturday but used them as game-changers to great effect, deploying them as substitutes after an hour and Hazard then scoring the goal that swung the match in favour of his side.

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