Diego Costa believes he is being 'targeted'

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Diego Costa doesn't exactly help himself try to shake off his negative reputation, does he?

The Chelsea striker is never usually too far away from the headlines and controversy does tend to follow him around.

The first game of the new season was no different as he was lucky to avoid a second booking and to even be on the pitch when he scored a late winner over Slaven Bilic's West Ham.

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Costa, unsurprisingly, fell victim to the Premier League's new rules for dissent just 18 minutes into the opening game after arguing with one of referee Anthony Taylor's decision.

However, he must have been thanking Taylor in the second half following a late lunge on Adrian which caught the goalkeeper's standing leg.

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The official showed leniency on this occasion although replays showed Costa had probably deserved a second booking.

As you would expect, the Brazil-born Spanish international came in for plenty of criticism afterwards and he has since tried to explain why he is rarely out of the spotlight.

After the game, Costa told ESPN Brazil: "I am aware of [the new dissent law] now. The second time I went to talk to him, he showed me [the yellow card]. I even found it a bit weird, but then I understood. I went to apologise at half-time and that's it.


"But I'll be honest, I am targeted here, by the referees, the people… if I do something, it's totally different than if any other players do. It needs to be seen, that people targeted me.

"It's something I have to deal with and I ask God that these things don't disturb me and don't take the sequence of the games from me, which happens sometimes and gives me suspensions."

Such an accusation is unlikely to divert the attention away from the 27-year-old and the 'targeted' line will not impress officials or the FA.

Chelsea v West Ham United - Premier League

Costa has already missed eight games through suspension since moving to Stamford Bridge from Atletico Madrid in 2014 and he might want to look a bit closer to home to discover exactly why he tends to be on the wrong side of the majority of decisions.

His reputation does precede him now so it wouldn't be much of a surprise to hear opposing teams view him as an easy target to provoke into doing something stupid.

Nevertheless, accusing referees of the same treatment will not go down well and if anything, will simply enhance his notoriety to even greater levels.

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Premier League
Diego Costa
John Terry
Francesc Fabregas

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