Football

Eden Hazard explains the one difference in Diego Costa this season

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Chelsea put down a serious marker in the Premier League title race on Saturday when they came from behind to beat Manchester City 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

It extended their lead at the top of the table and also continued a remarkable eight-match winning streak since boss Antonio Conte switched to his preferred system with three central defenders.

Whilst allowing summer signing David Luiz to flourish, the switch in formation has also given forwards such as Eden Hazard and Diego Costa less defensive responsibilities and more freedom to go forward.

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They both scored in Chelsea's win yesterday, and between them, they have now scored an impressive 19 goals and provided six assists in the 2016-17 campaign thus far.

Costa picked up the man-of-the-match award, and following the game, Hazard accepted that the Spain international seems like a different player this season and attributed the 28-year-old's form to one thing in particular.

The Belgium captain believes that, in addition to his excellent all-round contribution, Costa is learning to control his temper and act in a more disciplined manner on the pitch.

Hazard told Sky Sports: "I think this is the big change (Costa controlling himself). Before, he was scoring goals a lot, but sometimes (he) got a yellow card or red card.

"Now, that time is finished. He gives everything on the pitch and, again today, he scored a goal, made one assist. He's been on fire since the start of the season and I want him to stay at the top (of his game)."

Costa is yet to miss any games through suspension this term, and Conte's influence could be partially behind that, seeing as the Italian manager is a well-known disciplinarian as well as a master tactician.

On the game itself and Chelsea's outstanding run of results, the 25-year-old playmaker added: "Eight (wins) in a row! It's not every day you can do this, and now we enjoy. We played well.

"To come here, (at) half-time 1-0 (down), it's not easy to win the game but we did. We did very well and all the lads did fantastic, it's good."

Costa produced an exceptional centre-forward's display in the second half at the Etihad, running the channels and bullying Nicolas Otamendi, while Hazard wrapped up the three points for the Blues with a classic counter-attacking goal.

Hazard also hailed Chelsea's character, and fans and Conte alike will hope the team's stunning form continues when the 2014-15 Premier League champions host high-flying West Bromwich Albion next Sunday.

Can anyone stop Chelsea from regaining the Premier League title? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!

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Topics:
David Luiz
Football
Premier League
Diego Costa
Frank Lampard
Chelsea
John Terry
Eden Hazard

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