Diego Costa may have been fortunate to escape a sending off at Sunderland on Saturday evening, but the man he clashed with to get himself suspended for the visit of Tottenham Hotspur has absolved the Chelsea striker of all blame.
Costa had a stinker at the Stadium of Light in a game that saw Chelsea fail to find the back of the net for the first time in the Premier League this season. The Spain international picked up a yellow card after his flailing arm caught Wes Brown in face as the pair duelled for a header.
It was his fifth booking of the season and so he must serve a one match suspension immediately, which rules him out of Wednesday’s clash with Spurs. Many were arguing that the Brazilian-born centre-forward was fortunate not to have received worse before that.
He and John O’Shea fell to the ground in a heap earlier in the match and, despite the Sunderland skipper being penalised for the foul, Costa clearly kicked out at him. Referee Kevin Friend did not even produce a booking, even though his linesman had a clear view of the incident.
Aside from that debate, Wes Brown was not about to go playing the blame game and absolved his opponent of any blame in the incident where he actually did get a booking. One of the Black Cats informed the former Manchester United man that it did not look deliberate, and he was happy with that.
“It doesn’t bother me one bit. If I’m honest, I don’t know what hit me, I just know I was caught by something,” he told reporters after the match.
“One of the lads has said it didn’t look on purpose, it was more of his follow-through. That’s football. I’m a defender and I’m pretty much used to that.”
Makes No Difference
Unfortunately, this can be nothing but a sincere gesture by Brown, as yellow cards cannot be appealed and he will miss the Spurs match. It is a game where they could have done with him present too, Mauricio Pochettino’s side were very good in defeating Everton on Sunday and will be buoyant going into the clash.
Costa has been in terrific form since arriving at Chelsea from Atletico Madrid in a £35million, £150,000-a-week deal this summer, scoring 11 goals in as many Premier League games this season.