Antonio Conte has said he is “proud” of his Chelsea team after a goal from Diego Costa earned them a 1-0 win over Middlesbrough and sent the Blues to the top of the Premier League.
Costa’s tenth league goal of the season was enough to see off a battling Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium to earn Chelsea a sixth consecutive league win, in which they have scored 17 goals and conceded none.
The result pushes the Blues past Liverpool to top spot in the division – the first time Chelsea have held that honour this season.
And Conte has hailed his player for another strong win, insisting that Chelsea deserved the result for the chances they made and keeping Middlesbrough at bay.
The Italian has also warned his team that although they are now top of the league there is still much work to do to give them a chance of winning the title this campaign.
Conte told BBC Sport following Sunday’s victory: “I am very proud but we must know we have to continue in this way.
“I told the players we must start well after the international break and I think we had the right concentration to win a tough game.
“I knew this game would be difficult because this team is well organised and they are in good form. But we deserved to win because we scored the goal and created many chances for a second goal.
“The first five minutes wasn’t good for us. Middlesbrough started very well and we started badly but during the game our possession got better and we started to move the ball quicker. Also we didn’t concede and stopped any opportunity for them to score.
“The league doesn’t finish today but it’s the first time we have lead this season. It’s not going to be easy but we must be happy for our hard work and commitment. Now I will tell our team we have work to do.”
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