Football Football

Costa strikes again as Chelsea snare Foxes


COSTA-LEICSTERLONDON, August 23- Diego Costa scored for the second match in succession as Chelsea made it two Premier League wins from two matches this season with a 2-0 victory at home to newly-promoted Leicester City on Saturday.

After a goalless first half, Chelsea twice almost took the lead at the start of the second period.

Oscar hit the far post with a curling shot from the right before Branislav Ivanovic’s header was well saved by Kaspar Schmeichel, son of former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter.

Leicester, who held Everton to a 2-2 draw last week, then had a chance of their own when David Nugent burst clear only for the Foxes striker to be denied by Thibault Courtois, again preferred by Jose Mourinho to Petr Cech, when one-on-one with the keeper.

But £32 million ($55 million, 40 million euros) Spain striker Costa, who scored in last week’s 3-1 win at Burnley, marked his home debut by turning in Ivanovic’s cross from eight yards out in the 63rd minute.

Chelsea then doubled their lead at Stamford Bridge when Eden Hazard’s 77th-minute shot beat Schmeichel after deflecting off Leicester defender Wes Morgan.

Swansea, fresh from their shock opening day victory away to Manchester United, also made it two wins from two with a 1-0 success at home to Burnley secured by winger Nathan Dyer’s 23rd-minute goal.

West Ham bounced back from a 1-0 defeat by Tottenham Hotspur with a 3-1 win away to managerless Crystal Palace.

The Eagles, without a manager after Tony Pulis quit before the season started in a row over transfer funds, had seen sporting director Iain Moody resign in midweek following the fall-out from the publication of offensive text messages he had shared with Malky Mackay while the pair were at Cardiff.

– Hammers’ quickfire double –

Any hope of better news on the pitch was shattered when Palace conceded two goals in three first-half minutes.

Argentinian striker Mauro Zarate marked his Hammers debut with an impressive 34th-minute volley before England winger Stewart Downing added an equally stylish second, cutting in from the right flank before curling in a 20-yard left-foot shot.

Palace pulled a goal back in the 48th minute through Marouane Chamakh.

However, the Hammers made it 3-1 in the 62nd minute when striker Carlton Cole scored his first goal since February when he volleyed home from inside the penalty area.

Southampton and West Bromwich Albion shared the points in a goalless draw and Saturday’s early kick-off between Aston Vill and Newcastle ended the same way.

Newcastle, beaten 2-0 by reigning champions Manchester City last weekend, have still to score in the Premier League this season.

The Magpies finished the match a man down after centre-back Mike Williamson was sent off in stoppage-time for a second bookable offence.

Villa remained unbeaten after last week’s 1-0 win away to Stoke.

Louis van Gaal will go in search of his first competitive win as Manchester United manager at north-east side Sunderland on Sunday.

Meanwhile former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp will return to White Hart Lane as manager of London rivals Queens Park Rangers.

Sunday’s other Premier League fixture sees Hull, 1-0 winners over QPR last weekend, at home to Stoke.

The second round of Premier League matches is completed by Monday’s clash between Manchester City and Liverpool, last season’s runners-up, at Eastlands.

By then former City striker Mario Balotelli could be a Liverpool player if his proposed £16 million ($27 million, 20 million euros) transfer from AC Milan has been completed, although any deal will come too late for him to be registered to play on Monday.