Football: Conte Defends Chelsea Match-winner Costa

Football: Conte defends Chelsea match-winner Costa

LONDON, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 16th Augst,2016) - Chelsea manager Antonio Conte defended Diego Costa after the snarling striker found himself at the centre of controversy once again in his side's 2-1 victory over West Ham United. Costa struck an 89th-minute winner in Monday's game at Stamford Bridge to give Conte victory in his first Premier League match at the Chelsea helm. But the Brazil-born Spain international was fortunate to be on the pitch, having earlier caught West Ham goalkeeper Adrian with a late challenge after he had already received a yellow card.

"Diego tried to put pressure on Adrian and before the contact, he stopped," Conte said, in comments that seemed to be contradicted by the evidence of television replays. "For this reason I think the referee took the right decision. You know Diego is a passionate man and he puts passion in everything he does. In this situation, I think the referee took the right decision." Chelsea were leading 1-0, courtesy of Eden Hazard's 47th-minute penalty, when Costa launched into a challenge on the dawdling Adrian, appearing to catch him high on the right calf.

Referee Anthony Taylor had booked Costa for dissent in the first half, but on this occasion he kept his cards in his pocket. West Ham centre-back James Collins equalised with a neat finish 13 minutes from time, but Costa had the final say when he gathered a flick-on from debutant Michy Batshuayi and rifled home a low shot. "From our point of view, we are not happy with that," West Ham manager Slaven Bilic said when asked about Costa's challenge.