Diego Costa has spoken of his delight at receiving a warm reception from Chelsea fans on his return to Stamford Bridge, insisting his exit was down to former manager Antonio Conte and not for a lack of love for the club.

Costa spent three seasons in west London and played a starring role in two Premier League title wins, scoring 59 goals in 120 games for Chelsea before signing for Atletico Madrid again after a fall-out with Conte.

He made his first return to Stamford Bridge on Saturday with new side Wolves on Saturday, falling to a 3-0 defeat at his former club. He was cheered and applauded by home fans prior to kick-off and after he was substituted.

Speaking to ESPN post-match, Costa revealed he was relieved that Chelsea supporters remember him fondly, pointing the finger at ex-Blues boss Conte for his departure at the end of 2017.

“It was special,” Costa said of his reception. “Feeling that you did your job when you were here and then leaving with good memories.

“Receiving this affection from the Chelsea fans. I’ve always had affection. I have nothing to complain about the Chelsea fans. When I was here, they always treated me well.

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Speaking on his exit from the club, Costa added: “It wasn’t the fans. It was with that coach [Conte]. I had a very good relationship with the Chelsea fans. I was a champion! It was in the year that we won the second title. He didn’t count on me as much and I couldn’t stay.

“The affection I received today shows that I was never fighting with the fans. But I had to leave. It wasn’t my issue.

“It was because of the coach at that moment. Today is proof that the crowd has always been by my side and had affection for me.”

Credit: 90min.com

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