Some weeks ago, Alan Shearer called Sergio Aguero the only world-class player in the Premier League. While his statement about Aguero being world-class is true, he isn’t the only world-class player in the league.
Diego Costa has been in amazing form this season, and he has proven that he’s a striker his team can rely on when their backs are against the wall.
What makes a quality striker? A quality striker in modern-day football must be fast, have positional knowledge, be able to sniff opportunities, be clinical, produce in big games and should be able to deliver when the team needs him. All these are just the summary of who Diego Costa is.
Tony Pulis planned to frustrate Chelsea with a 6-man defence line, and for many spells of the game, his tactics worked. Costa couldn’t get any service, West Brom’s defence was locked, and in the first half, Chelsea were restricted to only 5 touches in the West Brom box despite having over 70% possession.
As a world-class striker would, Costa bailed his team out when it looked like things were going wrong. Even Conte would admit that West Brom’s tactics was impenetrable. With just 14 minutes left of play, Costa showed great desire to chase Gareth McAuley, overpowered him, drove into the box and drove a powerful shot from a difficult angle into the net. That goal bailed Chelsea out when nothing else was working — and Costa’s finishing was world-class, to say the least.
He had just one shot on target and just one opportunity which he created for himself, and he made it count — that’s world-class material.