Chelsea’s shiny new striker has been in exemplary form so far this season and is fast becoming the new scourge to Premier League defences using his strength, power and deadly instinct to fantastic effect. Diego Costa scored a great hat-trick against Swansea City at the weekend and in doing so became the first Premier League player to score seven goals in his first four league games (if he kept up that record we’d be talking over 65 goals during a league season).
Costa’s form has already made him a fan favourite down at Stamford Bridge and, alongside the stunning creativity of Cesc Fabregas, the Spain international has ensured that Chelsea have taken a maximum points haul of 12 so far this season. Chelsea’s next league game, away to Manchester City, presents a whole new challenge for Costa but if he can maintain his form there then he can do it anywhere.
As you can see from the graphic above, Diego Costa was absolutely deadly against Swansea City. The Brazil-born Spanish international scored three goals from just four shots on target with a further one shot being blocked – and even that was heading on target. Costa has shown magnificent composure so far this season with many of his goals being one touch finishes. This trend continued against the Welsh side with all three of Costa’s goals coming without the need to take a touch to set himself. Costa’s first, the yellow arrow which heads towards the top right of your screen, was from a Chelsea corner and Costa had to demonstrate immense strength to hold off the challenge of the Swansea defender whilst also showing the finesse to direct the header downwards to make it difficult for the ‘keeper. Costa’s second and third were similar in that they were sweeping finishes with his left foot which gave the ‘keeper no chance. The second, created by Cesc Fabregas, was cleverly lifted into the roof of the net to avoid the goalkeeper whilst the third was a swept finish into the bottom corner after a tame shot from Ramires.
The graphic above also shows another skill that Diego Costa possesses: positioning. All of Costa’s goals against Swansea were from around the six yard box, which is the area that all goalscoring poachers need to be in. Costa also maximises his chances of scoring by shooting mostly from central areas – where most chances are taken.
As well as providing a constant threat to Garry Monk’s team, Costa showed a willingness to work hard and join in with Chelsea’s attacks. As you can see from the image above, Costa completed 15 of his 19 attacking third passes, which shows he has a finesse with the ball as well as a brutish strength – although only two of those passes resulted in a “shot assist” it is worth noting that many of those passes came from wide positions that shows Costa is comfortable anywhere on the pitch.
For the type of striker that Costa is, this was a complete performance. He isn’t in the mould of Luis Suarez, who would dribble and create as much as he scored and nor is he like a Loic Remy who possesses immense pace. Costa is an agile brute – a perfect combination – and his shooting is of the highest calibre. He caused physical problems for defenders, he hit everything he was supplied with towards goal and, most importantly, he scored. Manchester City should be afraid.