It certainly wasn’t the most convincing victory in the team’s nine-match win streak, but Chelsea did just that on Sunday — win.
The Blues were often stifled in the outing by the Baggies and their ability to get numbers behind the ball, however, a moment of brilliance from the Spaniard in the 76th minute opened up the opportunity for the game’s lone finish. And it was one that Costa hasn’t been missing all season.
Chelsea remain atop the PL on 37 points, and Conte stated following Sunday’s victory that his side’s latest result exemplifies their “maturity and intelligence.”
“It was a very difficult game but we knew it would be, I spoke a lot in the week about the difficulty of the game because we faced a very tough team, very physical and difficult to break down,” said Conte. “I’m pleased because we showed great maturity and intelligence to find the right solution. It’s another clean sheet and now it’s important to think about the next game away at Sunderland.
“We have only two days to prepare for the game but we must be focused, it’s an important period. Christmas is very difficult for all the teams so it’s important to win, be focused and play football with good intensity.
“I’m pleased today because this game was very difficult and I like to see my team fight in the same way as West Brom, it wasn’t easy, but they showed me great character and a great motivation to win.
“I’d prefer to score early and take the lead but we know it’s not easy in this league. We are working very well on different aspects, not only tactical, but physical, to arrive at the end and play with great intensity, to run and to put great pressure on.”
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In regards to the Italian manager’s league-leading striker, Conte believes that while the goals are great that it is Costa’s high effort up the field that makes him such a danger to opposing teams.
“He’s showing great passion, he likes to play football,” said Conte. “He’s showing me great commitment and work-rate with and without the ball to help the team. It’s important for him to continue in this way, I’m very happy with him. Diego is a great striker and he can continue to improve his football but I’m satisfied with the work we are doing with him and the team.”Follow @MattReedFutbol