Paris Saint-Germain star David Luiz is adamant that he harbours no ill will towards Chelsea striker Diego Costa following last night's titanic Champions League tussle at Stamford Bridge, quite the opposite in fact.
Luiz and Costa were at loggerheads throughout two hours of fiercely competitive football on the Brazilian defender's memorable return to Chelsea, continuing a running battle which began in Paris during a first leg last month.
Fierce tackles, stray elbows and an on-off shoving match between the two was a firm feature of the last-16 showdown, but Luiz is happy to leave what happened on the pitch and wants to stay friends with Costa, who he believes is a "top guy" despite a playing style which continues to divide opinion.
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Why can't we be friends?
After playing a huge part in guiding 10-man PSG to the quarter-finals Luiz was asked about altercations with Costa, which he was far from an angel in after throwing an elbow at his opponent that went unpunished.
Luiz told Goal.com: “It is normal. Diego is an amazing player, a top guy and we have a lot of physical [battles]. We are friends and were together after the match. We know each other from before.”
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Luiz is vindicated on night of high emotion
PSG's £50m man has a habit of being right in the thick of every match he plays, for better or worse, but last night was very much the former and saw the Selecao star play with a spirit and will to win that demands respect.
Luiz kept his side in the tie in normal time by scoring a bullet header from close range, while also driving the French champions forward in search of a late goal to cancel out Eden Hazard's penalty in extra-time.
Laurent Blanc's side got exactly that late on thanks to another brilliant Brazilian defender in Thiago Silva, who broke Chelsea hearts at the end of a tie which saw PSG wide out the feeling of injustice stemming from a red card handed to Zlatan Ibrahimovic following a 50-50 challenge involving Oscar.
The former Blues hero Luiz may have broken his vow not to celebrate if he scored in West London, but Chelsea fans surely can't begrudge one of the game's most likeable characters his moment of vindication after being moved on by Jose Mourinho last summer.
Chelsea fans, how do you feel about Luiz and the way he conducted himself last night? Do you feel let down by his celebrations or were they justified? Let us know by having your say on the Luiz/Costa showdown by having your say in the comment box below.
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