LONDON: Diego Costa thrust himself again into the headlines with an 89th-minute winner as Chelsea edged West Ham United 2-1 in Antonio Conte’s first Premier League recreation as supervisor on Monday.
Eden Hazard, image of Chelsea’s stoop from champions to a tenth-place end final season, opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge with a penalty early within the second half, earlier than James Collins equalised within the 77th minute.
Costa arguably ought to have been proven a second yellow card after catching West Ham goalkeeper Adrian with a late problem, however he stayed on to steer a dramatic winner into the underside-left nook from 20 yards.
“I feel the workforce performed an excellent recreation with an amazing depth and spirit,” Conte informed Sky Sports activities.
“It is very important discover the suitable spirit and depth. We all know we will enhance and we should enhance so much, however at this time I’m happy for my gamers.”
Requested about Costa’s problem on Adrian, Conte replied: “I didn’t see it.”
The bruising Costa’s objective made it a constructive opening night time for Conte, who handed a full debut to former Leicester Metropolis man N’Golo Kante and noticed one other debutant, substitute Michy Batshuayi, arrange the profitable strike.
Nevertheless it was a bitter defeat for West Ham supervisor Slaven Bilic, who misplaced debutant Andre Ayew to a thigh damage within the thirty fourth minute.
On Costa’s problem, Bilic stated: “We aren’t proud of that. I do not assume it was reckless, undoubtedly not.
“It was not deliberate. Nevertheless it was very late. 9 occasions out of 10, if you see that sort of problem on a goalkeeper, it is a reserving. Sadly this was the tenth time.”
He added: “We have been so shut towards a prime aspect. However they deserved it.”
With each managers spending the complete match on the sting of their technical areas, suited and gesturing animatedly, the sport was characterised by hasty, imprecise soccer and full-blooded tackling.
Kante began on the base of midfield in the one change to the Chelsea group that began final season’s opening recreation — a 2-2 draw with Swansea Metropolis that gave the primary hints of the rot that was about to set in.
Bilic fielded two debutants in Ayew and left-again Arthur Masuaku, however the former was pressured right into a untimely exit after injuring himself chasing after the elusive Hazard.
The hosts’ excessive defensive position prevented West Ham bringing lone striker Andy Carroll into the sport and the primary-half possibilities have been all Chelsea’s.
Branislav Ivanovic drew a save from Adrian at his close to submit, Hazard curled a shot a foot large following a probing run and Willian obliged Adrian to palm a dipping free-kick over the bar.
West Ham’s resistance was damaged two minutes into the second half after Cesar Azpilicueta charged down an tried clearance by Michail Antonio on the sting of the guests’ field.
In in search of to atone for his error, Antonio succeeded solely in blundering into Azpilicueta from behind, obliging referee Anthony Taylor to level to the spot.
Hazard thundered the penalty into the roof of the web and inside 4 minutes Antonio had been changed by Sam Byram, the previous Nottingham Forest participant storming previous Bilic and straight down the tunnel.
With West Ham providing subsequent to no attacking menace, Chelsea continued to assault, Willian working Adrian with a crisp shot and John Terry heading over.
However the hosts ought to have been decreased to 10 males when Costa, booked within the first half for dissent, caught Adrian with an unsightly, excessive problem because the West Ham goalkeeper dallied over a clearance.
West Ham appeared to have pulled off a smash-and-seize with thirteen minutes remaining when Chelsea did not clear a nook and Wales worldwide Collins lashed a left-foot half-volley previous Thibaut Courtois.
However with full-time looming, former Marseille striker Batshuayi flicked on an extended ball to Costa, who steadied himself earlier than guiding a shot between Collins’s legs and past Adrian’s despairing drive.
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