Chelsea beats Swansea 4-2 in Premier League
LONDON (AP) — Diego Costa scored a hat trick as Chelsea opened an early gap atop the Premier League standings with a 4-2 win over Swansea, ending the visitors’ perfect start to the season.
Costa made sure Chelsea recovered from John Terry’s early own goal as the Brazil-born Spain forward continued his stellar scoring form by making it seven goals in four league games since joining from Atletico Madrid in the offseason.
“The team was built in a way where we were waiting for a certain type of striker,” Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said. “I think now everybody knows Chelsea did the right thing waiting for him. Chelsea did well by waiting and waiting for the right one.”
Costa headed in an equalizer just before halftime and then added two more after the break before being substituted for another new signing in Loic Remy. The French forward added the fourth on his debut before Jonjo Shelvey pulled a late goal back for Swansea.
“It’s a perfect debut,” Mourinho said of the 27-year-old Remy. “No better start for the kid.”
Chelsea has a maximum 12 points from four games to sit three points above second-place Swansea. More importantly, it’s already five points ahead of Manchester City and six above Arsenal after two of its main title rivals drew 2-2 on Saturday.
Chelsea plays City next weekend after midweek Champions League games for both sides.
Costa started despite missing Spain’s European Championship qualifier with a hamstring injury, but it was Swansea that had the better start.
Wayne Routledge volleyed wide and then dispossessed Nemanja Matic in a challenge to start the move which led to the opening goal.
Ki Sung-yeung fed left-back Neil Taylor, whose cross was turned into the net by Terry.
But Costa leveled when he met Cesc Fabregas’ corner with a low, firm header in the 45th. His second came in the 56th after another assist by Fabregas, who laid the ball back for Costa to finish clinically.
Bafetimbi Gomis had a chance to level but was unable to lift the ball over the onrushing Thibaut Courtois, who had a quiet second half in the Chelsea goal.
Courtois watched from afar as Costa struck once more. Ramires scuffed his shot into the path of the striker, who pounced to complete his hat trick.
Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich smiled widely and joined in the applause as Costa departed after 72 minutes for Remy to make his debut.
Remy, signed after Fernando Torres was sent on loan to AC Milan, quickly made his mark, tucking in Oscar’s pass.
Shelvey pulled a goal back with four minutes to play after substitute Wilfried Bony’s incisive pass.
“We played some very good stuff first half,” Swansea manager Garry Monk said. “We should’ve really come in with a lead, disappointed to have conceded that goal just before half time.
“Second half you saw the power and quality Chelsea had and we couldn’t quite contain them...which is disappointing.”