Tue | Oct 16, 2018

Perfect Costa, perfect Chelsea

Published:Sunday | September 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM

LONDON (AP):Chelsea finally seem to have found the solution to their striking struggles. Diego Costa took his goal haul to seven in four matches with a hat-trick against Swansea yesterday, while Loic Remy also scored on his debut.

The 4-2 victory was Chelsea's fourth win in four matches this season and ended Swansea's perfect start to the English Premier League season. Costa, who joined from Atletico Madrid for more than $50 million in July, is the first Chelsea player in 86 years to score in his first four games.

Just how much a team relies on a lethal striker is clear at Liverpool, who were beaten 1-0 by Aston Villa. Gabriel Agbonlahor's ninth-minute goal inflicted Liverpool's second loss in four games since last season's runners-up sold Luis Suarez to Barcelona.

In London, there was no debut goal for Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck in a 2-2 draw with champions Manchester City.

Like Arsenal, north London rivals Tottenham also conceded late to draw 2-2 at Sunderland as Harry Kane scored an own goal.

In west London, Chelsea's start didn't bode well for the hosts when captain John Terry inadvertently turned a cross from Swansea defender Neil Taylor into his own net in the 11th minute.

It took until just before half-time for Costa to equalise for Chelsea, and there was no stopping the Brazil-born Spain forward after his header from Fabregas' corner.

The pair combined 11 minutes into the second half with Costa finishing clinically from a cutback by Fabregas, who now has six assists in his four games since leaving Barcelona.

Costa completed his hat-trick in the 67th after Ramires scuffed a shot into his path.

"He's comfortable in the team," coach Jose Mourinho said. "The team was built in a way where we were waiting for a certain type of striker. I think now everybody knows Chelsea did the right thing waiting for him."

"We have difficult weeks ahead of us," Mourinho cautioned, already eyeing Wednesday's Champions League opener against Schalke.

Sergio Augero exploited gaps in the Arsenal defence to meet Jesus Navas' cross and put City ahead in the 28th. But Jack Wilshere inspired Arsenal's recovery in the second half, chipping the ball over goalkeeper Joe Hart and then heading to Alexis Sanchez to volley into the net.

biggest victory

But City levelled, thanks to the hosts' poor defending in the 83rd, when Martin Demichelis became the fourth player this season to score against Arsenal with a header.

Southampton claimed the biggest victory of the day, a 4-0 rout of Newcastle that makes manager Alan Pardew's future look increasingly precarious. But Everton manager Roberto Martinez will be relieved after winning their first match of the season. Romelu Lukaku and Steven Naismith scored in the 2-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion.

Leonardo Ulloa gave Leicester a 1-0 victory at Stoke for their first triumph in the top flight since gaining promotion, but fellow newcomers Burnley remain winless after Scott Arfield missed a penalty in a 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace in south London.