Middlesbrough 0-1 Chelsea hits and misses: Diego Costa unplayable while Adama Traore frustrates

Chelsea stormed to their sixth successive victory in the Premier League with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.

The West London club are increasingly looking like real title contenders as the new Antonio Conte’s 3-4-3 formation continues to frustrate opposition teams in the English top flight.

Chelsea’s and Spanish forward Diego Costa – the league’s top scorer – found the net in the 41st minute and was the sole scorer for the Blues side on Sunday afternoon.

The win means they’ve leapfrog Manchester City and Liverpool to go top of the EPL ranking table and there’s no doubt the Blues are the most in-form team this season.

Now, we analyze who impressed and who flopped at the Riverside.

HIT – Diego Costa

Rather predictably, the Spanish forward got himself on the scoresheet against Premier League strugglers Middlesbrough and the centre-forward was a threat throughout.

Costa is the most complete forward in England presently and he proved this again with his all-round performance.

Costa has now been involved in more goals than any other player this campaign. He’s unplayable on current form.

MISS – Adama Traore

Traore’s inclusion here may seem harsh at first glance because the former Barcelona starlet showed his frightening pace on several occasions over the course of the 90 minutes.

However, the winger needs to work on his end product. Time and time again Traore beat his man before giving the ball away which undoubtedly would have frustrated Aitor Karanka.

It perhaps shows why the Spaniard only made 13 appearances for Aston Villa last season.

HIT – Thibaut Courtois

Courtois looks back to his best after a disappointing season for Chelsea last term.

The Belgian shot-stopper didn’t have much to do at the Riverside but pulled off a brilliant save to deny Alvaro Negredo in the second-half.

It’s no wonder the Blues have now gone six games without conceding a single goal in the Premier League.

MISS – Victor Moses

Moses has surprised many Chelsea fans by breaking into Conte’s starting XI this season.

The Nigeria international has greatly impressed in his opening displays in the English top flight but he had an off day at the Riverside.

Traore and Gaston Ramirez caused Moses problems all afternoon with their pace and the Blues were arguably lucky not to concede after the break.

He also missed a sitter after the break which would have doubled his side’s lead.

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