Costa’s costly antics threaten to derail Chelsea’s silverware search
Chelsea stormed into the Capital One Cup final thanks to an extra-time header from Branislav Ivanovic, but Jose Mourinho’s side were lucky to have finished the game with 11 men after Diego Costa went unpunished for a shocking stamp on Emre Can.
The Spain international striker saw his dangerous stamp on Liverpool’s makeshift centre back go without any caution, with his side, odds-on at 2/7 to to win the League Cup, eventually seeing off the Reds to reach a Wembley showdown with either Tottenham or Sheffield United.
A feisty encounter at Stamford Bridge was finally settled after 94 minutes when solid Serbian Ivanovic climbed highest to head home an in-swinging Willian free-kick to secure a 2-1 aggregate victory.
Although, it was Costa who was at the centre of attention throughout the battle at the Bridge, getting involved in several foolish clashes.
Mourinho’s fiery forward escaped any punishment from the referee despite blatantly kicking viciously out at Can, before clashing with defender Martin Skrtel twice, having been denied a penalty after being fouled by the Slovakian.
The towering target man is in the spotlight yet again this season and could face a lengthy ban for his Skrtel stamp, with referee Michael Oliver having failed to produce a card for the incident. However, he was eventually issued with a booking for a shove on Steven Gerrard after the pair had aggressively came together as the crucial cup contest reached boiling point.
This is another moment of madness on the Chelsea number 19’s list of incidents this term, with the Brazil-born bruiser already serving a ban earlier this season for an accumulation of bookings.
Costa has received a whopping 10 yellow cards already in his first campaign leading the Blues attack, and is the joint-third most booked player in the top-flight, showing his ruthless temper can cause Chelsea problems.
After striking 18 times in all competitions in his maiden campaign in England, the spiky Spain striker is pivotal to his team’s chance of success as they hunt for a possible season treble, with Premier League, Capital One Cup and Champions League triumphs all still possible.
Mourinho’s men welcome title rivals Manchester City to London this weekend in a clash which could go a long way to deciding the fate of this season’s Premier League crown.
If the Blues are to continue their pursuit of a first league title in five years, then Costa must curb his spiky nature or the prolific poacher threatens to single handedly scupper his side’s chances for silverware.
Chelsea are odds-on 2/9 favourites to claim the domestic league title this year.