Fabregas backs ‘great striker’ Costa

Cesc Fabregas has backed his “great” Spain and Chelsea teammate Diego Costa after another goalless display from the striker against Slovakia on Saturday.

The Brazil-born hitman has now scored just once in eight appearances for La Roja since making his international debut in February 2014, but the midfielder insists the 26-year-old played his part in Oviedo.

“We're now the leaders [in Group C] and it's likely we'll qualify for the European Championship,” he said after the 2-0 win.

“We had a great first half and I think we gave a very complete performance. The squad is full of top players and hopefully we'll continue to do well.

“[Costa] is a great striker. Last season, he scored more than 20 goals and [on Saturday] won a penalty to make it 2-0. He's good at creating space.

“[To win the critics over, Gerard] Pique must carry on playing, being the best centre-back he can be and giving everything for the team. Time heals everything.”

Tags Cesc Fabregas Chelsea Diego Costa Euro 2016 Slovakia Spain