Like Costa, Cesc Fabregas was one of the primary targets for the supporters’ frustration then, but both excelled at the Emirates Stadium, with the playmaker appearing to thrive on the taunts against his former club. Hiddink added: “When I came in I said ‘hey guys, you have to win back the support and the confidence of the Chelsea supporters and then we’re looking to the future’. “With the commitment of the players, on top of the way they played, they are pleasing the fans again and the fans are closing them in their arms.” Hiddink expressed admiration for Arsenal’s style, but praised his men for not allowing the Gunners to play before calling on Chelsea to be more consistent. “I like to see them play, but our credit was not to have them play,” he added. “We were having an unbeaten run of games, but there were some draws and also some games where we had to come back. “The team reacted very well, but that’s not enough. I want a team that’s not having this negative score. “We want to be proactive. We must be more consistent in getting the wins.” Midfielder Nemanja Matic added on chelseafc.com: “This was the real Chelsea, and I believe that we can show again in the future that we deserve to play for this club. “Of course we are not in a good position in the table but there are a lot of games until the end of the season and we have chance to show our quality. “I am sure that this win gives us more confidence for the future. “We deserved to win, we showed our qualities and that we can play good football, and I am sure that until the end of the season we will show that we are still a big team and that we can win something.” Chelsea are 13th in the table, 14 points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham and the Champions League qualification places with 15 games to play. Their next fixture is the FA Cup fourth-round tie at Milton Keynes on Sunday. Meanwhile, Ramires could soon exit Chelsea, with Chinese side Jiangsu Suning reportedly making a £25million move for the midfielder. The Brazil international, who joined from Benfica in 2010 for a reported £18m, only signed a new four-year contract, until June 2019, in October. Guus Hiddink says Diego Costa “likes to fight – in a good way” and warned any defenders facing the Chelsea striker that trouble awaits. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger again bemoaned the influence of Costa, who antagonised the Gunners last September when Gabriel saw red. But Hiddink was grateful Costa focused on football and delivered. “He is important, because he’s focusing on his first job,” the Dutchman said on Chelsea TV. “If you have to play him as a central defender, then you are a bit in trouble. “He likes to fight – in a good way – and he’s got his credentials.” Costa was one of the players who drew the Chelsea supporters’ anger after Jose Mourinho’s departure last month. Hiddink reckons Chelsea’s players have won back the faith of the supporters after overseeing a seven-match unbeaten run. Chelsea are undefeated in eight since Mourinho’s departure, the first game of that sequence a defeat of Sunderland prior to Hiddink’s appointment which was saw the fans turn on the players who seven months earlier had delivered the title. Press Association Costa scored the decisive goal in Chelsea’s 1-0 win at Arsenal on Sunday, not long after being tripped by Per Mertesacker, who was sent off after 18 minutes. The striker now has six goals in six games under Hiddink, who hopes he will shake off a knee problem which forced his early withdrawal at the Emirates Stadium.
Facing No. 27 South Florida for the first time in 31 years, the No. 17 USC women’s tennis team took very little time in dismantling the visiting Bulls 6-1 on Thursday.Cream of the crop · Senior Maria Sanchez had another impressive performance Thursday afternoon against South Florida’s Irene Rehberger. – Murugappan Aroohachalam | Daily Trojan Senior Maria Sanchez’s 6-4, 6-0 victory against No. 24 Irene Rehberger told the story of the afternoon for the Women of Troy, as she put on a dominating display of tennis on a day that saw USC win five of its six singles matches, in addition to strong performances in doubles play.Despite a few unforced errors in the earlygoings of the match, Sanchez turned her play up a notch in the middle portion of the first set and never lost momentum, as evidenced by her sweep of the last eight games of the match.“I felt like I stepped it up at the end of the first set and I never eased up throughout the match,” said Sanchez, who came in as the nation’s number three singles player.Using her imposing forehand at will, Sanchez took the offensive whenever the opportunity arose and never let the veteran Rehberger, described by USC coach Richard Gallien as “cagey,” back in the match.In the second singles match, sophomore Danielle Lao had little trouble facing Ecaterina Vasenina, as she kept the Vasenina out of arms reach in the first set, before wrapping up the match with an impressive closing ability in the second and final set, winning 6-2, 6-1.A top-30 player herself, Lao has proved the perfect complement to Sanchez, who she defeated in the ITA Southwest Regional singles championship last year, and Thursday was no exception.USC’s sole loss came on the final match of the day, when South Florida’s Loreta Alonso outlasted junior Alli Ramos 7-6, 6-3 in two tightly-contested sets. Alonso’s powerful swings had Ramos on the defense, and despite her grit, she could not recover from the losing tiebreakers at the end of the first set and in the middle of the second.“Alli’s got the heart of a lion and [is] one of the most important people on our team in terms of characters and spunk and fight. She’ll win lots of matches [for us],” Gallien said.The three other singles matches all ended in a Women of Troy victory, most notably with sophomore Valeria Pulido shutting out USF’s Alessandra Bonte 6-0, 6-0 in the game’s quickest match.Senior Cristala Andrews had no problem disposing of Bulls’ Kate Parker in the sixth spot, while the number four match saw freshman Kaitlyn Christian dominate USF’s Janette Bejlkova 6-2, 6-0.With a visit from No. 22 Texas looming, the USC women’s tennis team knows it can’t afford anything less than an all-around dominating performance against the Bulls.“We’re in a good place. We have some talent, though we don’t have a long with just seven girls on scholarship there isn’t too much room for error, we are ready to compete,” Gallien said.