Diego Costa hat trick powers Chelsea to 4-2 win over Swansea City
LONDON (AP) — Diego Costa scored a hat trick as Chelsea opened an early gap atop the Premier League standings with a 4-2 win over Swansea, ending the visitors' perfect start to the season.
Costa made sure Chelsea recovered from John Terry's early own goal as the Brazil-born Spain forward continued his stellar scoring form by making it seven goals in four league games since joining from Atletico Madrid in the offseason.
He headed in an equalizer just before halftime and then added two more after the break before being substituted for another new signing in Loic Remy. The French forward added the fourth on his debut before Jonjo Shelvey pulled a late goal back for Swansea.
Chelsea has a maximum 12 points from four games to sit three points above second-place Swansea. More importantly, it's already five points ahead of Manchester City and six above Arsenal after two of its main title rivals drew 2-2 on Saturday.
Chelsea plays City next weekend after midweek Champions League games for both sides.
Costa started despite missing Spain's European Championship qualifier with a hamstring injury, but it was Swansea that had the better start.
Wayne Routledge volleyed wide and then dispossessed Nemanja Matic in a challenge to start the move which led to the opening goal.
Ki Sung-yeung fed left-back Neil Taylor, whose cross was turned into the net by Terry.
But Costa leveled when he met Cesc Fabregas' corner with a low, firm header in the 45th. His second came in the 56th after another assist by Fabregas, who laid the ball back for Costa to finish clinically.
Bafetimbi Gomis had a chance to level but was unable to lift the ball over the onrushing Thibaut Courtois, who had a quiet second half in the Chelsea goal.
Courtois watched from afar as Costa struck once more. Ramires scuffed his shot into the path of the striker, who pounced to complete his hat trick.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich smiled widely and joined in the applause as Costa departed after 72 minutes for Remy to make his debut.
Remy, signed after Fernando Torres was sent on loan to AC Milan, quickly made his mark, tucking in Oscar's pass.
Shelvey pulled a goal back with four minutes to play after substitute Wilfried Bony's incisive pass.