Diego Costa notched his 10th goal of the season – the first player in the Premier League to do so this season – to secure victory for Antonio Conte’s Chelsea, with the three points enough to give them a slender lead at the top of the table by a solitary point over Liverpool and Manchester City.
The Blues were made to work for it against a resolute yet defensive-minded Boro side, but Costa reacted with to a ball that dropped in the danger zone after a Chelsea corner was not dealt with. The Brazil-born Spain international hit the ball first time past Middlesbrough goalkeeper Victor Valdes four minutes from half-time to score what would prove to be the match-winner.
Middlesbrough had little to show attacking-wise for their efforts, with Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois not called into action until the 78th minute when he needed to safe from former City striker Alvaro Negredo.
Despite a late surge to try and find the equaliser, Boro came up short and the win saw Chelsea send out a title warning to their nearest rivals that there will be no repeat of last season this time around.
So how did everyone perform? Click on the gallery above to find out.Reuse content