Defending Chelsea beat 9-man Arsenal 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday with the sending off of Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista being the major talking point. The Brazilian defender was involved in an altercation when Costa pushed Laurent Koscielny to the ground. Although both Costa and Gabriel were booked, Costa continued to instigate the defender and eventually convinced referee Mike Dean to send him off for an apparent kick to the leg.champions
While the decision itself was controversial with Costa receiving no more punishment for his foul on Koscielny (he had grabbed his face and also swung his arm out to hit him in the face) and widely discredited by the media and pundits alike, Blues boss Jose Mourinho said Costa was the ‘man of the match’.
Arsene Wenger had admitted that Gabriel deserved to be sent off but also maintained that Costa should have seen red too. When the Portuguese manager was first questioned about whether Costa should have been sent off, he avoided the question altogether and spoke about how Wenger always moaned when he lost.
“My view is this – and this why I’m proud of my club – I played against Arsenal maybe 12, 15, 18 times and only once he didn’t moan. And that day we lost. We lost the cup (Community Shield where Arsenal won 1-0), it was not good for us but we behaved in a fantastic way. No excuses, not crying, not moaning. I have to cope with my defeats; tonight he has to cope with his defeat.”
When a reporter said he didn’t answer the question, Mourinho went on to explain how derbies make players emotional and that they should control their temper.
“I played my first derby in September 2000. Benfica against Sporting. And I told my players before the game that to win derbies you need emotional control. Without emotional control, forget it, you won't win.
“I played derbies in Portugal, in Spain, in Italy and in England again. Every derby, you don't win without emotional control. It's a basic thing of the game.”
When he was pressed on the matter again, Mourinho raised his voice and said: “I think you should speak about Gabriel Paulista! You should speak about him and his mistake. If you want to talk about Diego Costa with me, he played like he has to play.
“And that’s why you have full stadiums and you sell football to television around the world for millions and millions. Because the game has to be played like that, okay?”
When a reporter questioned whether Costa was playing within the rules or not, he asked: “Which rules? Your rules?
“I can guess that when you were a kid, you were playing badminton?”
When he was pressed one last time about Costa, Mourinho said: “Man of the match for me,” and went on to defend him.
“The referee was there. It was the same referee that made every decision of the game. It was the same referee that didn’t give two clear penalties for us
Unacceptable that Costa escapes punishment: Arsene Wenger
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was livid with the fact that Costa never gets punished for his antics on the pitch.
"He will do the same again next week and the week after that and he always gets away with it," the Arsenal manager said, according to BBC.
Costa can do what he wants and yet he stays on and everyone who responds to him has to be sent off. He hits Koscielny in the face yet he gets away with it.
“I understand referee Mike Dean's decision to send Gabriel off. He was guilty and should not have got involved but why does Costa stay on the pitch after what he has done?
“Costa is always involved in provocation and he used the naivety of Mike Dean well. It is nothing to do with the strength of a referee. You expect him to make the right decision.”
When he was asked if the football Association should take another look at the replays and take retrospective action on Costa, the French manager said: “ That is the least they could do.”