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Diego Costa made it five goals in five games since the arrival of Guus Hiddink at Chelsea,

As he continued his resurgence under the Dutch tactician by scoring a wonderful goal in Chelsea’s thrilling 3-3 draw with Everton.

Diego Costa's resurgence under Guus Hiddink showcases his undeniable qualityWithout question, the installation of Hiddink, which came at the expense of Jose Mourinho, has done wonders for Costa, who only managed a measly 4 goals in 21 appearances before Hiddink took over. And although he couldn’t propel his side to a much needed victory vs. Everton, on a personal note, it was encouraging to see the Brazilian born forward so committed to the cause throughout.

From his central striking station, Costa worked tirelessly from the outset. Whether it was by applying dogged defensive pressure to Everton’s central defenders and deep-lying midfielders or by constantly making vertical and lateral movements to provide viable attacking options for his teammates, Costa was relentless in his desire to do everything in his power to help his side.

While his attacking movements often went unrewarded, particularly when he embarked on runs in behind the Everton defence, to his credit, he never gave up. His persistence paid off handsomely in the 64th minute, where he was aptly rewarded for all his graft in the best way imaginable.

On this occasion, upon noticing Cesc Fabregas pick up possession in a true defensive midfield location, Costa got on his bike and made a run right at the heart of the Toffees defence. As Fabregas’ raking long ball sailed over the head of Phil Jagielka, who badly misjudged the ball’s trajectory, Costa sprinted ahead to cunningly latch onto it first. Tim Howard came out in an attempt to intervene, but Costa’s sharp first touch took both the American keeper and Jagielka out of the equation. Costa happily strolled up field and applied his finish into the empty net to cap off a brilliant move.

The former Atletico Madrid superstar’s expertise when dropping off the frontline to link play with his back to goal also served as a great weapon for Hiddink’s men. By doing this, aside from using his ability to combine with his fellow attackers, he successfully dragged the Everton defence apart, which created vital pockets of space for his teammates to exploit. And for Fabregas’ levelling goal, Costa’s imaginative back to goal work provided the perfect foundation for his Spanish international colleague to score.

Here, with Fabregas again in possession just outside the 18-yard-box, Costa made a quick foray towards Fabregas to present himself as an option. Cesc obliged Costa’s movement by playing a neat pass into his feet. Upon receiving the ball, Costa only needed two touches to mastermind the goal: one with his left to control the pass and one with his right to delicately lay the ball into the path of Cesc, who had continued forward after initially finding Costa. As Costa had planned, Jagielka followed him, which was key to the whole passage working, for Cesc actually received Costa’s lay-off in the space Jagielka had been occupying before he began following Costa.

Although Costa probably won’t receive the recognition he deserves for his role in the goal, this sequence brilliantly evidenced how beneficial his thoughtful movement can be to Chelsea.

Overall, this was yet another menacing performance from the 27-year-old, who led his side from the front with unyielding determination. Even though there were some customary scuffles with his opponents, which have become common place with Costa who always plays on the edge, he managed to control himself and remain on the pitch – until injury ended his night prematurely ten minutes from time.

Worryingly for Chelsea his shin injury was deemed so severe that he had to be stretchered off and taken to hospital. With a feisty encounter with Arsenal up next for Chelsea, and one that Costa would’ve relished after his antics with Gabriel in their previous meeting, Hiddink will certainly be sweating over the diagnosis of his star striker.

In truth, this potential setback couldn’t have come at a worse time, as Costa was beginning to play at a level that resembled something not too short of his best. Only time will tell how bad the damage is, but in the meantime, it’s been great to see Costa once again playing some good football and beginning to regain his confidence.

With the vastly experienced Hiddink now at the helm, he’ll clearly be doing everything he can to help the man who’s never far from controversy get the best out of himself, for on his day he knows there aren’t too many better forwards in world football than Costa.

Barring poor discipline and injury, Hiddink knows he’s got the perfect man to lead Chelsea’s desired revival back up the league table.

Originally published at licencetoroam.net

Post written by Edward Stratmann
for Licence to Roam, Blog: licencetoroam.net, Twitter: @licencetoroam

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