As Chelsea opened their Premier League campaign with a well-deserved win over London rivals West Ham, one thing was apparent; Dirty Diego has returned.
West Ham under Slaven Bilic are a different proposition to anything we have seen come out of East London in a very long time, and it wouldn’t have been at all far-fetched to think they could take all three points from Stamford Bridge – but Chelsea looked like a different animal.
With new boss Antonio Conte at the helm, not many people knew what to expect. The former Italian boss is passionate, but with zero Premier League experience it was always going to be a guessing game working out what style of football he would play and which members of his highly gifted squad he would get the best out of.
After the first match it appears his three attacking gems in Eden Hazard, Oscar and Diego Costa are all taking to his managerial approach.
Costa had been rumoured to be leaving the Bridge this summer with a move back to Atletico Madrid on the cards – but despite what is printed in the press, he looked hungry, dangerous and once again up to his dirty tricks.
The Brazilian born Spanish international should have been sent off for a horrible tackle on West Ham’s goalkeeper Adrian and was continually involved in niggling fights with the West Ham players – but that is nothing we haven’t seen before and certainly wasn’t lacking from his game last term.
What he did lack was a certain spark. Home and away fixtures with Arsenal aside, Costa was almost missing last season – but last night he popped up with an 89th minute winner.
Confident enough to keep hold of the ball and strike from distance, his argy-bargy performance was capped off with a winning goal, similar to the man we all saw and hated two seasons ago when Chelsea won the title.
When Diego Costa is running around the pitch kicking players, being abusive and causing trouble, he is not wanted in the Premier League. However when he makes darting runs, holds the ball up well and scores goals – I am sure we can all turn a blind eye to his naughty play.
Cantona had it, Suarez had it, Costa has it. Nobody likes a bad-boy unless he produces the goods on the pitch too.
Keeping Costa fit, happy and firing will go a long way in Chelsea’s success this campaign.