COMMENT By Emma Sanders
Diego Costa’s goal-scoring expertise is the main reason why Chelsea are top of the Premier League table after this weekend’s fixtures and Liverpool aren’t.
The Spaniard has been in sensational form this season and he netted his 10th goal of the campaign against Middlesbrough during Chelsea’s 1-0 victory on Sunday.
Costa’s third successive league goal was all Chelsea needed to secure three points and move above Liverpool in the table and they now enjoy a slim one-point lead.
The two teams both dominated against sides who set up with defensive solidity but Costa’s clinical finishing proved to be the true difference between both clubs this weekend.
Liverpool struggled to break down Southampton’s defence and squandered a number of big chances, particularly in the second-half and were left ruing what should have been their fifth straight victory.
By comparison, Chelsea’s top goalscorer proved he needed just one chance to hit the back of the net and it was his ruthlessness which has subsequently sent the Blues to the top of the table.
Both sides have demonstrated real attacking quality during the opening months of the Premier League campaign and if Costa can continue this kind of form, Chelsea can expect to remain at the top.
Liverpool will need Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino on top form throughout the campaign too, as they have to prepare for life without Sadio Mane when he leaves for international duty in January.
Championships are won during tight games and Liverpool may have hinted at their failure to do so yesterday. In Costa, Chelsea have someone they can turn to even when they’re not performing well whereas the Reds must find a way to breakdown opponents in tight fixtures.
Liverpool may have scored more Premier League goals than any other side, but Chelsea could still win the title by winning games 1-0, even if Jurgen Klopp’s men put six past Watford.