15 duels lost: £32m Chelsea forward struggles in heavyweight clash

Chelsea Logo - Stamford Bridge Tunnel

Diego Costa was unable to continue his scoring form as Chelsea were held to a draw by Manchester City on Sunday.

Up against his first real test of the 2013/14 campaign in the form of the holding Premier League champions Manchester City, it is fair to say Chelsea's £32 million summer signing, Diego Costa, enjoyed few moments of success.

Isolated up front, Costa saw very little of the ball for the majority of the match, and in fact, he didn't manage a single shot in the first 45 minutes.

The Chelsea striker spent much of the first hour of the contest defending rather than attacking, consuming more energy in his own penalty area than the hosts'.

Suffering as a result of Cesc Fabregas's reduced service in midfield, he received few chances to make an impact on the final scoreline. Jose Mourinho's tactical set-up restricted the former Barcelona midfielder's creative license; consequently, Costa was afforded just two shots on goal. 

Often, when the Chelsea midfield players were able feed the Spaniard, City captain Vincent Kompany was there stifle any danger; he was remarkable all afternoon. Costa found himself involved in 19 duels with City players, losing all but four. He also recorded just 21 passes, only 81% of which found the intended target.

He remained a nuisance throughout, and in the second period he drew the tackle that led to Pablo Zabaleta's second yellow card and subsequent sending-off. The spat that ensued is a situation Premier League viewers are quickly growing accustomed to. 

It was the Spanish international who drove at the City defence before feeding Eden Hazard who crossed for Andre Schurrle's opening strike. This proved to be his most influential moment of the match and at this stage, with their opposition a man-down, Chelsea looked like stealing all three points. 

As the game wore on, he managed his first effort on goal, but his header fell straight into the hands of Joe Hart. Then moments later he struck the post with by far his best shot of the game. By the time he was substituted in the 86th minute, Costa had recorded just on target attempt at Joe Hart, but this did little to challenge the England international goalkeeper. 

Costa was kept very quiet by City's Kompany throughout the match and this had a telling impact on the final scoreline. Had the Spaniard been afforded more opportunities inside the final third, then it's likely that Chelsea would have extended their lead at the top of the table.

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