Conte Defends Costa, As His Goal Drought Continues

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Costa’s goalless run in the premier league has stretched to four games, but Antonio Conte insists the striker still remains a key part of the squad.

Costa’s strike deflected off Adam Smith to open the scoring, but the goal was credited as an own goal, before Hazard and Alonso scored goals of their own in the 3-1 away win.

The Spain international has never gone four games without scoring a goal in the EPL, but Conte still sees the striker as an important part of the team.

“I think that the first goal, Diego provoked it and he played a good game and fought a lot for the team with good commitment,” Conte told BT Sport.

“He fought a lot for the team and he is important – it is important for the team that we won against a strong team. Now it is important to rest and restart and prepare for the game against Manchester United.”

Tottenham won their match 4-0 and cut the gap between them and Chelsea to four points, but Conte was not all that worried about the pressure coming from second placed Tottenham.

“It was a good pressure, I prefer to call it this, but we managed the situation very well,” Conte said. “We started the game very well with great attention and focus.

“Then we conceded and lost a bit of confidence but then we managed the game and scored another with Marcos Alonso.

“I think Marcos is playing a really good season and it is great for him to show his quality with the free-kick. I’m happy for him but above all for the team.”



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