Costa backed after subdued display

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said Diego Costa’s subdued display in the 2-1 win over QPR was understandable.

Costa, who missed four games through illness and a hamstring injury, started brightly and almost teed up a goal for the outstanding Oscar with a delightful flick.

But the striker, who has scored nine goals in eight Premier League games, then faded – unlike Oscar, who scored the opener and was highly praised by his boss.

“Diego didn’t have a very good performance, like the team,” Mourinho said.

“A muscular injury is not just your body but also your brain, because you are afraid of reactions and it breaks you a little bit – so normally the next match he will be better.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Queens Park Rangers - Stamford Bridge
Eden Hazard’s penalty was enough to give Chelsea the points against QPR

“For 90 minutes Oscar was our best player. Not [just] for the goal but for the dynamic [running] and the intensity.

“For the transitions when the team recovered the ball, he was always sharp and fast.

“When the team lost the ball he was always sharp to recover positions or press the ball.”

Mourinho felt Oscar’s efforts were even more impressive given that it was his third game in a week.

“He was fantastic,” Mourinho added. “He played Sunday, Tuesday and today.

“I would expect other people to be fresher and to be sharper, but Oscar was our best player.

“He is playing very well. Pre-season was difficult after the World Cup but it’s coming.  He is giving balance to the team, a lot of creativity – and the goal is only possible in a very talented boy.”

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