LONDON: Diego Costa returned to the Chelsea side after his ambiguous absence and marked his 100th appearance for the Premier League leaders on Sunday by scoring the first goal in a comfortable 2-0 victory over relegation-threatened Hull.
The striker was missing for last weekend's victory over Leicester, officially due to injury but with manager Antonio Conte not disputing accounts of a rift with the top scorer.
Restored to the team, Costa's determination to make an impact felt was clear after 10 seconds when he first tried to beat Eldin Jakupovic and he did score his 15th goal of the season at the end of the first half from close range.
It came in the seventh minute of stoppage time, the result of a lengthy delay after a clash of heads between Chelsea captain Gary Cahill and Ryan Mason which led to the Hull midfielder being hospitalized.
Cahill was able to remain on the field and he headed in Chelsea's second in the 81st minute after getting on the end of a free kick from Cesc Fabregas.
Chelsea is eight points clear at the top of the league, while Hull is only a point off the bottom of the standings, two points from safety.