Chelsea hero Costa praised for ‘incredible’ discipline

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has hailed Diego Costa for continuing to avoid the yellow card that would see him have to serve a one-match ban.

With the controversial striker known for his combative style, a suspension seemed inevitable when he picked up his fourth yellow card of the season during the 3-0 defeat at Arsenal in September.

But Chelsea have won all nine of their league matches since then and Costa, while remaining at his bullish best, has shown a vastly improved temperament.

“It’s incredible when you think that after the Arsenal defeat he had four yellow cards, was on the edge and has continued to stay on the edge,” Conte said.

Costa, who scored the winner against West Brom on Sunday. will avoid a ban if he gets to January without another yellow card, as the slate is wiped clean for all players after the turn of the new year.

“I think he can now arrive in January without a yellow card – I hope so,” Conte said.

“He is showing great passion. In every game he is showing me great commitment and work-rate. It’s fantastic.

“It’s very important for him to continue this way. I am very happy for him.”