The infamously feisty Costa, dropped in January after reports of a row with Conte, was left walking a disciplinary tightrope after being booked for simulation in the 16th minute of Saturday's game at the Bet365 Stadium.
For the Chelsea captain, Gary Cahill, his victor, three minutes from time, wiped out the push on Jonathan Walters that had given away the penalty for Stoke's equaliser.
Costa was booked in the first half and repeatedly clashed with Stoke defenders Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi in a heated fixture between the sides, which saw Phil Bardsley sent off in added time.
"My players were prepared to fight for this game because it was not easy".
"We need to take 21 points for the title win".
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The top-18 teams in the nation by regional qualifying score are seeded into the six regional sites. The Cardinal has won six regional titles and 49 individual championships in its 39-year history.
"It is important to understand my role in the team [but] it is not just me, it is Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, everybody". I repeat, this is a great win. "I want to continue this way".
"So it's important for him to stay calm and he's developed that a lot this season".
The Premier League leaders had seen an early Willian free kick cancelled out by a Jonathan Walters penalty before half-time.
Not, however, Chelsea, and certainly not Cahill, who, having conceded the penalty with which Jon Walters wiped out Wiilian's early goal, was in the right place to drive in Chelsea's victor three minutes from the end.
Lee Grant says his strong performances for Stoke this season only made his costly mistake against Chelsea extra disappointing.
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Gary Neville believes Manchester United's dramatic turnaround against Sheffield Wednesday almost 25 years ago is their most significant Premier League victory after the club celebrated 600 wins. "It was a little bit feisty, we gave everything and I can not criticise our players".
Speaking after the match, the Potters" boss conceded that though he was disappointed with the result, he could not have asked for more from his own players who had pushed the "champions elect' close.
"We are one of these sides and that's good".
"We didn't do that", he said.
"We didn't target him, more likely he targeted our players". "We have done it time and time again and this game went exactly as we expected".
Borussia Monchengladbach 0-1 Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich extended their lead at the top of Bundesliga, as RB Leipzig fell to Bremen and Dortmund defeated Ingolstadt. There was nothing Sommer could do to stop Bayern's opener in the second half, though.