A perfect weekend for Chelsea ended with not only a solid 2-0 win over Hull City, but a winning goal from Diego Costa, who had been the center of attention for the past week and more with the brouhaha around his injury and potential interest from China.
Costa almost opened the scoring in the 10th second, but his volley flashed just wide. A couple minutes before the end of the first-half he made no mistake however, slamming Moses’s cross into the back of the net and leaving no room for misinterpretation with his celebration.
When asked about the blah-blah-blah celebration, Antonio Conte claimed he didn’t see it, since he was busy with his own celebrations.
Conte is asked about Costa's celebration. Laughs and says he did not see it because he was himself too busy celebrating.— Dan Levene (@danlevene) January 22, 2017
But the significance was not lost on Captain Gary Cahill.
"He's obviously delighted to come back. There is a lot of talk when something happens.”
"He misses one game and you're reading about all these stories every single day. That probably gets a bit tiring for him. We are delighted to have him back and scoring, which he's been doing all season."
-Gary Cahill; source: Sky Sports via Goal
So say we all.
It was Costa’s 15th goal of the season, his 52nd in his 100 appearances for Chelsea. Not too shabby!
Conte was obviously delighted with his striker’s contribution and is now hoping this will put the speculative nonsense to bed.
“In this situation I told always the truth. I am happy for him and to finish this speculation. He played and played very well. I am pleased for him and for fans and club. Today finished all types of speculation. His performance was good and I am pleased for this.”
“In the press conference before the game a lot of people asked me about his form, his attitude, and I said took the best decision for the team and I think I made the best decision after this performance. It is normal to receive a lot of questions [about Costa]. The most important thing for us is the answer on the pitch, for the player, for me, for club, for fans and for the league table.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Metro
Chelsea have increased the lead at the top of the table from seven to eight points this weekend. A perfect weekend.