Stamford Bridge, London, England
Diego Costa scored the winner for Chelsea as the Blues moved back to the top of the Premier League after defeating a well-drilled and disciplined West Brom side 1-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Tony Pulis’ West Brom frustrated Antonio Conte’s side for the majority of the match, of which the hosts dominated. However, 14 minutes from time, Costa pounced on a Gareth McAuley error to rifle home and earn Chelsea’s ninth consecutive victory of the season to equal the Blues’ best ever winning-streak since 2009.
In quite an evenly contested first few minutes it was the visitors that had the first sight of goal. In the fifth minute a Craig Dawson cross found Chris Brunt, who headed harmlessly off-target at the near-post.
In the 18th minute the visitors went close to taking the lead when Brunt got the better of Marcos Alonso and Nemanja Matić before firing an effort that curled just wide from-range.
Seven minutes later, Salomón Rondón got the better of David Luiz and fired an effort through the legs of César Azpilicueta that drifted inches wide.
Two minutes later the Blues went close when a N’Golo Kanté strike ricocheted off Pedro to wrong-foot Ben Foster before spinning inches wide of the post.
Five minutes from the break the hosts went close when a dipping freekick from David Luiz was saved well by Foster from-range.
Chelsea went close to taking the lead on the hour mark when a deflected freekick from Luiz forced Foster to palm the ball behind.
Four minutes later the Baggies went close when a dangerous delivery from Matt Phillips found Rondón, who just couldn’t get enough on the ball under-pressure with the loose ball ricocheting off Alonso before falling kindly to Courtois.
In the 76th minute the Blues took the lead. Costa chased onto a hopeful pass from substitute Cesc Fàbregas, dispossessed McAuley deep into his own-half and surged forward before brilliantly curling home into top-corner. It was the Spanish international’s 12th goal of the season.
In the 85th minute Chelsea went close to doubling their lead when a misplaced clearance from Dawson fell to Alonso, who fired an effort just over the bar.
Two minutes later the Blues could have sealed the victory when Costa pulled the ball back to Fàbregas, whose effort on the slide was deflected wide.
The result meant that Chelsea moved back to the top of the league on 37 points whilst West Brom remained in eighth on 20 points before the rest of the weekend’s games. The victory was Chelsea’s ninth consecutive victory to equal their best winning run since 2009.