Chelsea take over at the top by beating Middlesbrough

Published On: November 21, 2016 08:10 AM NPT By: Associated Press

MIDDLESBROUGH, Nov 21: 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.

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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