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Chelsea's Jose Mourinho plays down Diego Costa controversy

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Diego Costa did not play in Chelsea's draw with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, but the controversial striker still managed to leave White Hart Lane as the game's hottest talking point.

The Brazilian was a surprise omission from Jose Mourinho's squad with Eden Hazard taking his place up front. However, the Belgian failed to break the deadlock and it looked for all the world that Costa would emerge from the bench for a late appearance.

He warmed up on the touchline for over ten minutes before Mourinho decided to throw Ruben Loftus-Cheek on instead. Costa retook his seat, but not before ostentatiously throwing his bib in Mourinho's direction.

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Chelsea fans were quick to criticise Costa with many suggesting he should be dropped from the squad completely because of his poor attitude, but Mourinho does not see it as a problem.

In fact, the Special One told reporters that he found the 26-year-old's behaviour 'normal' for a player used to starting matches. However, he also told the striker he should have felt 'privileged' to have even made the squad.

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Playing down the problem

Mourinho said: "If he wants to hurt me, it's not with a bib. I have a good relationship with him, no problems.

"I think Diego is very privileged because he was the last one to be (put) on the bench.

"Everybody was on the bench. I kept him in the team for all these matches and today we thought the best strategy to play was this one. We are happy with the decision."

Strained relationship

Regardless of what Mourinho claims, Costa's antics on the bench have furthered the view that all is not well with the Spain international.

This is not the first time Mourinho has had to play down a Costa-infused controversy after the pair clashed in the dressing room during the interval at Maccabi Tel Aviv on Tuesday.

The Portuguese manager claimed they had made up, but the act of dropping him in their very next game suggests they did not.

There have already been widespread reports that Costa is unhappy with life in London and is pining for a return to Atletico Madrid. How he responds to be dropped will be key to his future at Stamford Bridge. Obviously, he has not done well thus far.

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Topics:
Tottenham Hotspur
Jose Mourinho
Chelsea
Premier League
Football
Diego Costa

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