Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic has showered striker Diego Costa with praise for “dominating” the Arsenal defence on Sunday.
The visitors left the Emirates Stadium with a much-needed three points as they defeated Arsenal 1-0 and put another dent in the club’s Premier League title challenge.
The result means Arsenal have now played over nine hours of league football against Chelsea without scoring a goal, but while Ivanovic was part of the defence that extended Arsene Wenger’s miserly run against their London rivals, it was Costa who was the difference.
Costa won the foul that resulted in a red card for Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker and scored the first-half goal that secured the win.
“Today Diego Costa was dominant mentally against the Arsenal defenders because every time he made a difference they started provoking him and, when they started kicking him, he was calm, which is good,” he told TalkSport.
“And he always wanted to provoke them. It’s part of Diego’s game, he is always playing this way and if you take that away from Diego he is not the same player.
“He’s very smart on the pitch and always knows where the limit is. He provokes but he always stays calm and for us he’s very important.”