London, Aug 16 (IANS) Striker Diego Costa’s late goal in the 89th minute helped new coach Antonio Conte begin his Chelsea tenure with a 2-1 win over West Ham in their English Premier League opener.

Eden Hazard opened the scoring for Chelsea with a penalty early in the second half here on Monday, before West Ham centre-back James Collins equalised with a neat finish in the 77th minute, reports Xinhua.

Before scoring the decisive goal, Costa could have been shown a second yellow card after catching West Ham goalkeeper with a late challenge, but the referee Anthony Taylor decided against it.

“It is important to find the right spirit and intensity. We know we can improve and we must improve a lot, but today I am pleased for my players,” Conte told after the game.

Clinching first victory in the Premier League, Conte got the three points and his Chelsea is believed to be a strong competitor in the title race besides Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United.

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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