I hated this Chelsea player last season… now I love him! – top pundit

GARTH CROOKS is a big fan of Chelsea star Diego Costa.

The Blues striker netted a late winner against West Brom yesterday to maintain Chelsea’s three-point lead in the Premier League.

Antonio Conte’s men have now won nine games on the spin, conceding just two goals in that stretch.

Costa has netted 12 league goals this campaign under the Italian – already surpassing his total of 11 last season.

And pundit Crooks reckons Costa’s change in attitude is firing his side to success.

“I hated this player last season and now I am starting to love him. What a finish, what a performance and what a victory for Chelsea,” Crooks told the BBC after their 1-0 win against the Baggies.

“One goal was always going to decide this fixture and it was a simple matter of who was going to make the first mistake.

“Unfortunately for West Brom, it was Gareth McAuley, who has been outstanding for the Baggies once again this season.

“He let Diego Costa in on a pass he had no right to win and what then took place was quite extraordinary.

“Costa, having won what appeared to be a lost cause, took aim from the most acute angle and curled the most sensational shot into the top corner.

“Costa seems to be putting all his efforts into his game and seems to be less concerned with setting fires all over the pitch.”

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