STORIES BY PAUL EREWUBA
Leaders Chelsea stretched their Premier League winning run to a club record-equalling 11 as Diego Costa’s header shortly before halftime secured a 1-0 victory at London rivals Crystal Palace yesterday.
The Spain international climbed high to connect with Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross in the 43rd minute, guiding a header beyond the reach of Wayne Hennessey at a foggy Selhurst Park.
It was Costa’s 13th league goal of the season, taking his Chelsea haul to 50 in all competitions, and was enough to seal a third consecutive 1-0 win for Antonio Conte’s confident side who head into Christmas looking unstoppable.
After 17 games they have 14 wins – a record for a new manager in the Premier League – and are nine points clear of Arsenal and Liverpool who play today and Monday against Manchester City and Everton respectively.
It is the first time Chelsea have won 11 consecutive league games in a single season, although they also managed 11 in a run spanning two campaigns in 2009.
With home games to come against Bournemouth and Stoke City they are closing in on Arsenal’s record of 14 consecutive wins in the Premier League.
“Another win, we deserved to win,” Conte was quoted as saying after the encounter. “We played with great concentration against a strong, physical team.
“To win 11 in a row is fantastic. The most important thing is that we are a team, in every moment of the every game. When we suffer we suffer together. I see every day their commitment.”