Diego Costa and Chelsea can today expect to discover from the Football Association if the striker has a case to answer for his role in Saturday’s feisty victory over Arsenal.
Jose Mourinho was seething when Costa was retrospectively sanctioned in February for treading on Liverpool’s Emre Can, part of a perceived “campaign” against his side which included a Sky Sports montage entitled ‘Costa’s Crimes’.
The Chelsea boss would be expected to be similarly unhappy if Costa is charged for a series of incidents involving Arsenal defenders Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel, after labelling the striker “fantastic” and his man of the match following the 2-0 win.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had a contrasting view and hopes referee Mike Dean will look again at Costa’s actions after filing his match report by today.
The match officials should have been aware of Costa’s reputation during his first 14 months in the Premier League, says Wenger, but statistics show the striker did not commit a foul in the match.
The Gunners boss rebuked Dean for allowing the running feud between Costa and Gabriel to continue before the Arsenal defender saw red.
“He (Dean) let it go and I don’t know why,” Wenger said. “I would like Mike Dean to look at the whole action that happened during the game and see if he stands for his decision. You have a fourth official, you have a linesman, the referee and they talk all the game. They can tell you and they know Diego Costa. He is not a newcomer.
“It is surprising. If I am a referee and I referee Diego Costa, I do not send somebody off quickly if he responds to it because you know he has been well provoked.”
Wenger, though, did not condone Gabriel, who was sent off for reacting to Costa’s taunts, insisting that even if a player is spat at he must keep his cool.
Gabriel became involved after Costa grappled with Koscielny, pushing the defender in the face with his hands before catching him with a flailing arm.
“You have to be above that,” Wenger added. “To be professional, to me, is to deal with that. You can spit in my face and if it’s in a game then I will not respond. I do not guarantee that outside of the game. The desire to win has to be above all of that.”
Mourinho chastised Gabriel for losing “emotional control”, insisting Costa kept his.
He said: “Of course. That’s (the opinion of) people that don’t have the same opinion as I have.
“When you work the way he did, his movement, his creation. He was fantastic.
“The opponents have to keep emotional control, because to play against an attacking player that is aggressive, that goes to every ball, that fights for every ball, that is physical, it’s difficult.”