Chelsea announced that there will be no pre-match news conference after Diego Costa was charged with violent conduct by the FA.
The forward appeared to stamp on midfielder Emre Can in the second leg of his club’s Capital One Cup semi-final against Liverpool. The FA have reacted swiftly to charge the player with violent conduct. Costa later appealed the decision, but was later banned for three matches.
The news will prove to be damaging for Chelsea as they will be without their star striker, who has scored 17 league goals this season, for a crunch game against Manchester City this weekend. He will also be absent for fixtures against Aston Villa and Everton.
Getting off lightly
In truth, the Chelsea forward can consider himself lucky that referee Michael Oliver only deemed one of the alleged stamping incidents worthy of a three match ban in his post-match report.
The Chelsea striker also appeared to stamp on defender Martin Skrtel later on in the match and also got involved in a head-to-head incident with Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. Oliver took action with the latter incident, booking both players, but chose to look over the second stamp.
Manager Jose Mourinho has already spoken this season about a ‘campaign’ that he perceives is being waged against his club and his striker. He has also been recently fined £25,000 for those comments after his club was denied a penalty in a 1-1 draw with Southampton.
Mourinho has reacted furiously to these developments by refusing to attend tomorrow’s pre-match press conference. Meanwhile, Costa’s teammate Gary Cahill has defended the Spanish international by describing him as a “handful.”
The English centre-back told the BBC that Costa makes life “difficult” for defenders and has praised the way that he plays the game.
“One of his attributes is the way he puts his foot in and makes it difficult for defenders,” said Cahill.
On this occasion it would appear that “putting his foot in” has made life more difficult for Costa’s own team-mates, as his absence will be a huge boost for Manchester City in a game that they must win.