Antonio Conte’s men went ahead after 17 minutes when
Joshua King halved the deficit just before halftime, but Marcos Alonso made it 3-1 with a perfectly flighted free kick after 68 minutes.
Tottenham had trimmed
“When you have this type of opponent who is in good form and wants to catch you, it is important to have a good answer. This is a good answer,” Conte told the BBC.
“There are seven games to go and in
However, they were almost a goal down in the first minute.
It looked a certain goal until goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois flung out his left arm to divert the ball for a corner-kick.
Luiz began the move with a pass out to Victor Moses on the right. His low ball inside found Costa, who turned and shot left-footed.
His mis-hit effort was going well wide until it grazed the head of right back Smith, who was attempting to block, and dropped gently inside the post with goalkeeper Artur Boruc hopelessly wrong-footed.
Costa had not scored in his previous four appearances for
A minute later it was 2-0 after Wilshere lost possession in midfield and N’Golo Kante sent Hazard through.
Just onside, Hazard ran on, feinted to shoot to the goalkeeper’s right, went round him to his left and rolled the ball into the net despite appearing to stumble.
King took Benik Afobe’s pass and, as defenders retreated, tried a shot. The ball flicked off the thigh of Luiz and zipped high between Courtois and his near post.
Costa contributed to
Alonso capped an excellent performance with a precise free kick that soared over the wall and found the top-right corner of the net with Boruc rooted to his line.