BY BRENDON NETTO Follow @BrendonNetto on Twitter
Premier League spectators the world over were treated to a scintillating goal fest on Saturday night as Chelsea made the trip to Goodison Park. It was the kind of enthralling end-to-end encounter that only England’s top flight could serve up but in the midst of the goal frenzy, Diego Costa’s crucial involvement in this Chelsea side couldn’t have been more prominent.
Everton were 2-0 down at home before they knew it; in 3 minutes to be precise. The first blow was dealt by Costa who pounced on Cesc Fabregas’ pass. The combination between Jose Mourinho’s two summer signings went on to be a common theme in the game, one that has seen his side flourish so far this season.
Every time Fabregas got on the ball, his first instinct was to locate Costa and play the ball into him. The former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder boasts an exquisite range of distribution and hasn’t been shy to show it off but even the numerous simple passes into his compatriot’s feet proved to be vital to Chelsea’s build-up play.
The striker is blessed with the ability to either use his strength to fend off defenders or run in behind the back four. That’s the sort of versatility in their main striker that Chelsea have missed since Didier Drogba ruled England’s top flight in his hay-day.
When Costa chooses to hold the ball up, he is excellent at bringing the creative players around him into play and nearly every Chelsea attack went through him. Even when he runs in behind, his pace is a worry for defenders and he drags them out of position, creating space for his teammates.
Fabregas and particularly Costa have emerged as the pieces of the puzzle Mourinho missed last season. Eden Hazard was the club’s best player last season. The fact that Chelsea have been playing well and winning convincingly despite the Belgian being a peripheral figure at best speaks volumes of the impact the Spanish duo have had on the side.
Even Oscar has been well off the pace since returning from the World Cup. The west London club have had a surplus of attacking midfielders over the last two seasons but the introduction of Costa finally seems to have made everything click in the final third.
The 25 year-old’s all-action, robust style can be deceiving as well. Costa is clever when it comes to shifting the ball to a wide player and making runs, he’s not only about physicality and brute force. He’s deceptively quick as well in addition to possessing a finishing touch that he doesn’t get enough credit for.
For his second against Everton, he made an intelligent diagonal run across John Obi Mikel who did well to reverse the ball to him. The run was so sharp that none of the defenders picked him up and he was clean through on goal. In addition to that, he had the composure to take an extra touch, round Tim Howard and pass the ball into an empty net. Everything about that was top notch.
Costa is every bit the striker Chelsea have been looking for ever since Drogba entered the twilight years of his career. Not only is he someone who can bag them goals on a regular basis but he’s also the focal point of their attack, giving them much needed direction.To put it in layman’s terms, if Fabregas is the player who makes Chelsea tick, Costa’s the one who makes them explode.
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