Jose Mourinho has defended Diego Costa, after the combustible Chelsea striker was accused of deliberately stamping on two Liverpool players during Tuesday's Capital One Cup semi-final win over Liverpool.
The Chelsea boss, loyal to a fault, claimed the stamps on Emre Can and Martin Skrtel were accidental.
“He goes to the ball, he chases it, the opponent goes to the floor and he puts his foot there when he is looking at the ball,” said Mourinho.
But Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said: “He has this edge to him. With Emre Can, that was poor, I felt.”
“He could easily hurdle over the young player and he directs his studs right on to his ankle, which could’ve been nasty.
“Again, the one with Martin Skrtel, there’s no need to do it. That’s the sad thing. He’s a top-class player and he’s clever enough that the officials don’t see it.”
Make your own mind up about the two incidents.
Mourinho also renewed his attack on Sky TV pundit, the former Liverpool midfielder, Jamie Redknapp, who he claims is waging a one-man media campaign against his team.
“I don’t know what you understand by a stamp,’ he said. “Maybe you are already influenced by the campaign on the television with certain pundits saying Costa has committed a crime — the guy who says that must be nuts.
“It is a great campaign. We know how much that pundit loves Chelsea. You are a manager, on the bench, and these guys have a good seat, earning a lot of money, no pressure.
“They are never wrong, they have to be fair and they have to be honest.”
Costa arrived at Chelsea with a reputation as an abrasive character – as much street fighter as silky striker. If his early days in England have confirmed anything, it is that he has no intention whatsoever of cleaning up his act
Here’s a compilation of his best bits, taken in part from his nascent Chelsea career, but mainly from his days at Atletico Madrid.