Chelsea striker Diego CostaREUTERS

Chelsea’s title hopes would take a big hit without Diego Costa around, says Mark Hughes

Costa struck the decisive blow in the New Year’s Eve clash between Hughes’ Stoke and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Potters twice fought back against the Blues in a trilling contest.

Willian edged Chelsea in front for a third time before Costa wrapped up a 13th win on the spin with a fourth goal late on.

Diego Costa scores for ChelseaREUTERS

Diego Costa scored Chelsea’s fourth goal against Stoke

“You wouldn’t want Chelsea to lose him because that could significantly damage their ability to win the league”

Stoke boss Mark Hughes on Diego Costa

And Hughes says the Spain striker is vital to Antonio Conte’s hopes of winning the league in his debut campaign in England.

“Costa’s performance today showed the value he gives to Chelsea,” the Stoke boss said.

“You wouldn’t want Chelsea to lose him because that could significantly damage their ability to win the league.”

Mark Hughes and Antonio ContePA

Mark Hughes’s Stoke lost 4-2 to Chelsea

Costa is the top scorer in the Premier League with 14 strikes so far.

Chelsea go for win number 14 on the bounce when they travel to rivals Tottenham on Wednesday.

Source: http://www.dailystar.co.uk/sport/football/574370/Chelsea-news-Diego-Costa-Mark-Hughes