Chelsea’s Diego Costa thrives against Porto on a niggly night made for him | Barney Ronay

The striker’s goal drought may have continued but Chelsea can take heart from the fact that he mostly put his aggressive instincts to productive use

Another step back: another step forward. With the Champions League safely packed away for the winter recess Chelsea’s oddly fraught, in-out season continues to bring to mind John Updike’s observation that no matter how many times the world keeps ending, people still keep on showing up asking where the party is.

Chelsea may be just about skating above the bottom three in the Premier League but they are through to the last 16 of the Champions League after a clinical 2-0 defeat of Porto, last season’s quarter-finalists, that seemed to exist in a parallel world to the listless, shoe-gazing humiliations of the domestic season.

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