Nobody can deny that the signing of Diego Costa has been a great success for Chelsea but he has also brought his fair share of controversy to Stamford Bridge.
He has already come under close scrutiny for alleged diving or ?simulation? in an attempt to gain penalty kicks for his side. No sooner had that particular furore died down than Costa sparked a media frenzy for two alleged stamping incidents in the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg against Liverpool.
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Neither was punished at the time by Referee Michael Oliver but he was later charged for violent conduct by the FA and faces a suspension. The first involved Liverpool?s Emre Can and took place right under the noses of the two managers on the touchline. Can reacted angrily to the incident which took place off the playing surface with Costa appearing to land on his opponent?s ankle.
The second incident involved Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel during an evening when the two players were locked together in an on-going battle. Once again, Costa appeared to land on the player?s ankle with Skrtel attempting a scissor-kick style act of relation. Neither player was reprimanded with the Referee?s attention focused on an earlier foul in the build-up. Costa and Skrtel each received a booking during the match in separate incidents. The FA has decided to take no action on this incident but it is the Emre Can challenge which has landed Costa in hot water.
In fairness to Costa, the accusation of diving came in the home game against Hull and was far from clear-cut. He received a yellow card after falling clumsily and far great emphasis was given to the more theatrical tumble of Gary Cahill which was likened to something from Swan Lake by the opposing manager. Costa was also involved in a minor altercation with Liverpool?s Jordan Henderson in the tunnel after the first leg of the stormy Cup semi-final.
On the plus side, Costa has scored seventeen goals this season for the Blues and they have finally resolved the striker problem in a way that Fernando Torres was never able to. Costa’s combative style may be something of a throw-back to the Premiership strikers of old but there is no doubt that Chelsea are a better side when he plays.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has his own theory about the recent controversy surrounding Costa. He believes that there is a media campaign against the striker and that he would not deliberately dive or stamp on an opponent. Whether or not there is any truth in Mourinho?s theory, Diego Costa is very unlikely to change his approach to the game.