Costa continues proving he’s for real as Chelsea romp to victory again

By Hilton Yip Source:Global Times Published: 2014-9-15 23:33:01

The weekend was a welcome return to club soccer for many fans, though definitely not for those who support Newcastle or Real Madrid.

Things continued as normal for ­Arsenal and Chelsea, as the former continued its familiar trend this season of playing hard and coming out even for its third straight Premiership draw, while Chelsea pounded Swansea to seize control of the table.

Chelsea's victory was a continuation of the one-man onslaught called Diego Costa who scored a hat trick in a 4-2 win. Having arrived over the summer from Atletico Madrid for 32 million pounds ($52 million), Costa had a reputation as a combative La Liga striker. And he has added to that reputation in the Premiership, with his hat trick Saturday making it seven goals in four straight games. If there were any doubts whether Costa could fit in with the Premiership, they have all been blown away now.

Costa's old club Atletico Madrid showed they will not give up their La Liga crown easily, as they defeated Real Madrid 2-1 in their own stadium. Atletico's win was impressive, but Real are already in crisis after only three games. It was their second loss of the season, and it seems to be fulfilling Extra Time's prediction in July that Real's impressive firepower, augmented by the likes of James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos, mask an unbalanced midfield and defense.

Arsenal have had an ambivalent first month, being undefeated, but still without a big win. Manchester City provided the sternest test so far on Saturday.

Arsenal gave up a goal, then equalized before going ahead on goals from Jack Wilshere and Alexis Sanchez. This raised hopes of a massive comeback win against the defending champions, but it was not to be as City equalized late in the 83rd minute. Danny Welbeck, who Arsenal obtained on the last day of the transfer window on September 2, had a decent debut, though he didn't score.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger provided a bit of drama during the week when he said that Welbeck wouldn't have been signed if he had been in the country on the final transfer day. Wenger had instead been in Italy coaching in a charity game organized by the Pope.

Why Wenger chose to be doing that on such a vital day is a reminder of the mercurial and sometimes maddening genius of the Frenchman. Rather than being embarrassed, Wenger was indignant about the charity game, saying that "meeting the Pope was an experience I did not want to miss," according to Friday's The Independent newspaper.

The author is an editor with the Global Times.

Posted in: Extra Time

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