Diego Costa had another night to forget as Chelsea played out a frustrating draw against West Brom yesterday, forcing boss Guus Hiddink to leap to his defence.
The combustible Brazilian striker was at his best - or worst - at Stamford Bridge against the Baggies, hounding referee Anthony Taylor on the full-time whistle to remonstrate with him for decisions that went against the Blues.
He then took his frustrations out on the tunnel, punching a perspex panel after another game in which the Blues slipped further away from the top of the table.
Cesar Azpilicueta put Chelsea up after 20 minutes, before Craig Gardner levelled things up 13 minutes later. Gareth McCauley's own goal seemed to have gifted the home side all three points, only for James McClean to strike late on.
However the main talking point after the game was Costa's antics, and Hiddink was forced to defend the striker in his post-match press conference - and provided a humorous response to the news that the 27-year-old had been involved in a fight with an inanimate object.
"That dent in the tunnel? “We can repair that easily enough, that's not a problem,” laughed Hiddink. “He is an emotional guy and I like that very much.
He added, when asked if Costa was too close to the edge: "I think there was a little space left. The central defenders were provoking him and he was causing danger continuously. It (the aggression) was mutual.” If you have to push your players (to get angry) it's difficult to survive in the Premier League.”
The Blues are now in 14th place in the Premier League with two wins in their last five games, leaving them 19 points off Arsenal and Leicester at the top.
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