Diego Costa sends Chelsea to top of Premier League with win over Boro

MIDDLESBROUGH, England (AP) — Chelsea moved to the top of the English Premier League on Sunday after a first-half strike by Diego Costa earned the visitors a convincing 1-0 victory at Middlesbrough.

Chelsea dominated the game and was rewarded for its unrelenting pressure when Costa scored four minutes before the break, reacting quickest to a loose ball after a goalmouth melee and firing home from close range. It was his 10th goal of the season.

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Middlesbrough showed more ambition in the second half but the next clear chance also fell to Chelsea, shortly after the hour mark, when defender David Luiz pushed forward and sent a high cross into the area. Costa headed the ball back invitingly for Pedro Rodríguez - but his first-time shot slammed against the crossbar.

After six consecutive league wins without conceding a goal, Chelsea now has 28 points from 12 games in Antonio Conte's first season in charge.

Liverpool and Manchester City have 27 points each, with Arsenal in fourth with 25.

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