Chelsea boss Conte plays down Costa gesture

Antonio Conte thanked Chelsea fans for their support against Southampton and played down the significance of Diego Costa gesturing to the Stamford Bridge crowd after scoring.

Costa’s two goals were his first in eight matches – a barren run which has coincided with reports that the striker is keen to make a big-money move to China.

He pointed at the fans and placed his finger on his lips after scoring, but Blues boss Conte insisted there was nothing untoward about his player’s celebration.

“I think the crowd was fantastic with Diego and all my players,” said Conte.

“In this part of the season everyone must understand the real importance of reaching our target and for sure everyone feels a bit of pressure – the players, the club, but also the fans that want us to win.

“It’s important to continue to stay together and to understand this moment and be ready to push our team in the right way.

“For this reason I want to say thanks to our fans because they showed great passion and pushed us a lot.”