Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink believes that the English FA has been unfairly punishing striker Diego Costa.
The Spaniard has already received a number of suspensions since his move to Chelsea in 2014. However, he continues to be one of the best forwards that the club has seen since the days of Didier Drogba. Costa has been involved in a number of clashes with opposition players. This has often seen both parties at the receiving end of yellow and red cards. This was the case in the FA Cup quarter-final against Everton when Costa clashed with defensive midfielder Gareth Barry throughout the game.
A coming together between the two players in the final 10 minutes of the game was viewed harshly by referee Michael Oliver, who produced a second yellow card for Costa. The Spaniard was then charged with improper conduct by the English FA for his failure to leave the field of play immediately and showing his discontent towards the referee. Hiddink has defended the actions of the player saying that it has been the usual story involving the FA and Costa. The former Atletico Madrid striker also had to fend off accusations of biting into Barry, although the Everton midfielder came out quickly to say that it was not the case.
“Maybe he is a bit marked in this. I know it’s difficult if a player is frequently, bit by bit, provoked. We all do it … you play a bit with that, it’s part of the game. You see how far can you get someone out of his comfort zone and into the red zone. So the player has to control himself. That is why I said I cannot guarantee Diego will not explode in matches. But maybe there was a little bit of searching for ‘where we can get Diego’,” said Hiddink.