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5 times Diego Costa has been caught up in controversy

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Mar 132016
 

Chelsea striker Diego Costa is in the headlines again after an altercation with Everton’s Gareth Barry.

The Spain international received the first red card of his Chelsea career after a flare-up with Barry, with initial footage showing that he appeared to motion to bite the midfielder before thinking better of it.

Both Costa and Barry have since denied that any biting took place, but if referee Michael Oliver includes the incident in his report, the Football Association may well take action.

Costa has become accustomed to negative headlines during his time with the Blues and here, Press Association Sport looks at five more of his bust-ups.

1. Stamping on Emre Can

Costa was given a three-match ban after being found guilty of violent conduct during a League Cup tie with Liverpool. The FA deemed he stood on Emre Can and then-manager Jose Mourinho cited a television campaign about “Diego Costa’s crimes” as a reason for the ban.

2. Angering Arsene Wenger

Arsenal boss Wenger has been infuriated by Costa twice this season. Most recently he accused Costa of getting Per Mertesacker sent off when the Blues won at the Emirates, coming on the back of an even fierier game at Stamford Bridge.

On that day, Costa got away with lashing out at Laurent Koscielny with Gunners defender Gabriel Paulista then sent off for taking revenge of his own. The FA then overturned Gabriel’s ban but gave Costa a three-match one, but not before he had helped Chelsea to the points.

Wenger said that Costa’s ban had only “repaired five per cent of the damage”.

3. Celebrating an own goal

Everton manager Roberto Martinez told Costa he was childish after he taunted own-goal-scoring Seamus Coleman. The defender put through his own net as Chelsea won 6-3 at Goodison Park in August 2014 and got up from the floor to see Costa celebrating his misfortune.

“Reacting after scoring a goal and making fun of a disappointing action, that’s not a reflection of the class that he has,” Martinez said. “He’s a top player and he’s been a top player for a while. He has had to fight a lot for what he’s got. I think his career deserves a lot of credit, so it’s a real shame when you’ve got a childish reaction like that.”

4. No red card at Sunderland

Costa left Sunderland’s Stadium of Light with just a yellow card in November 2014, despite appearing to kick out at John O’Shea having already been booked for catching Wes Brown with a flailing arm.

”Why do you speak all the time about Diego? I don’t agree, I don’t agree. I was just told that he was unlucky to get the yellow card,” Mourinho said.

5. Fighting with his own team-mates

Costa was involved in a training-ground flare-up with Oscar earlier this year, the former reacting to a challenge from the latter with team-mates having to help defuse the situation.

”It was a pity that our photographer yesterday had a day off because he could have shot beautiful pictures of two bulls who were chesting a bit after a charge from behind from the smallest bull of the two, which was Oscar,” boss Guus Hiddink said.

Source: PA

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 Posted by at 8:53 am

Everton midfielder Gareth Barry says Chelsea star Diego Costa did not bite him

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Mar 132016
 

Everton midfielder Gareth Barry has confirmed he was not bitten by Diego Costa as the controversial Chelsea striker found himself at the centre of a fresh storm.

Costa was dismissed for a second bookable offence six minutes from the end of his side’s 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Goodison Park after an ugly clash with Barry during which he appeared to make a motion to bite the Toffees midfielder before thinking better of it.

Barry did not speak to the media after the game, but Press Association Sport has been told he has privately dismissed the allegation, which was also denied by Costa in a club statement late on Saturday night.

The Football Association is awaiting referee Michael Oliver’s report before making a judgement on the Spain international’s latest misdemeanour, although Barry’s evidence could prove invaluable to him.

However, Burnley midfielder Joey Barton, himself no stranger to the game’s disciplinary chiefs, has urged the football authorities not to overreact to “pantomime villain” Costa’s most recent rush of blood.

Barton told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek’s programme: “It’s difficult to get too self-righteous when you’re in my position, but what we have to remember is nobody has died.

“It’s a game of football. You have had two grown men basically square up, no punches have been thrown, nothing serious has happened, both have gone home to their families, one team has lost, one team has won.

“We have to be careful not to get too carried away. We have to remember what makes football football. It’s that kind of thing, it’s goals, it’s playing on the edge, it’s high intensity, it’s high passion. That’s why we do what we do, that’s why we love watching football.”

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, who said his player had been “chased” during the game, later joked that he and Costa should go together to watch the film “Anger Management” after a catalogue of incidents since his £32million arrival at Stamford Bridge during the summer of 2014.

But Barton again called for a measured response, stating that passion and emotion were vital components of the game.

He said: “I have been involved in numerous incidents, similar if not worse, on a football pitch – tempers get frayed, that’s football. We wouldn’t want players to be walking round cold and calculated and emotionless because we wouldn’t be getting the product that we all love.

“I’m not saying we accept it – there are many things I’ve done which aren’t great for the game and if you could go back and change them, you would.

“But strange things happen to people when they have got adrenaline and emotions coursing through their veins during football matches, during any sport, really. You see lots of instances in sport where it happens because we care.

“I know that’s not an excuse, but I don’t think you want to take the edge off him. If you take the edge off him or players who play like that, it’s very rare that they end up becoming better for it.

“You are better working with what he’s got because the reality of it is Diego Costa is, from time to time, a pantomime villain, but he’s a fantastic footballer.”

Source: PA

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 Posted by at 7:53 am

Guus Hiddink admits ‘concerns’ about Eden Hazard

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Mar 112016
 

Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink has “concerns” about Eden Hazard’s fitness and form.

Hazard was booed as he was substituted with a hip and groin problem during Wednesday night’s Champions League exit to Paris St Germain, when his half-time shirt swap with Angel Di Maria invited the fans’ fury.

The Belgium playmaker’s father Thierry told Belgian newspaper Le Soir that Hazard has had the injury for up to four months – it first occurred under Jose Mourinho, whom Hiddink replaced in December – but has had to play on.

Hiddink says Hazard is “desperate” to feature in Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Everton.

“His father made a fair judgement. He is not absent of injury,” Hiddink said.

“What is an injury? You can have an injury where you cannot play, or where you can play when you are not fully fit.

“I have my concerns about him as well: whether he should play, when he’s not top, top fit, an hour at full intensity or another part of the game (as a substitute). We’re trying to help him.

“He will be available (against Everton). He’s desperate to participate in a team performance.”

Thierry Hazard told Le Soir his son’s injury is “not serious, but the pain, once it appears, is a stabbing pain”.

He added: “Instead of giving him time to rest and to cure totally, they need Eden to play, especially when it’s a very important match, and then to force him. He doesn’t have any choice.”

Hazard’s condition appears to be perplexing Hiddink, who spoke to Chelsea’s medical staff on Thursday and analysed statistics in the absence of “emotion”. The statistics from training and matches do not point to a problem, the Dutchman says.

Hiddink added: “I try to exclude a lot of emotion in that and see whether his working radius is okay. The intention he is doing in training and in the game, it’s not what you think. You think sometimes ‘oh, he’s not doing enough’. That’s not true.

“We have to find another entrance to get him on this level. Working harder is possible, but not with stupidity. Or maybe one or two days off might help.”

Hiddink discounted an extended leave, although that option is available now Chelsea are out of the Champions League.

He added: “I like to have (players) near to see what is best.”

Hazard senior conceded his son’s bad form came before the injury, saying “he’s not a machine”, while he also dismissed the prospect of a summer switch to PSG. Hazard is under contract at Stamford Bridge until 2020.

Hiddink added: “His father was very humble and made a very good comment about this. Some players have difficult times, although they are trying.

“Most of the time we have the idea ‘he’s not in big, big form, let’s try to punish’. Most of the players ask for a little bit of help.

“Every now and then I see that he (Hazard) is capable of doing beautiful things, very efficient things. We try to help him and find a path where he can grow and it’s a different approach for everyone.”

Striker Diego Costa is undergoing treatment for a hip problem which forced him off against PSG and is a doubt for the trip to Everton, but captain John Terry will return to contention after a six-match absence with a hamstring problem.

Hiddink said: “He worked rather well the past days. I would like him to travel to Liverpool.”

Terry scored an equaliser in the eighth minute of stoppage time to earn a 3-3 draw with Everton in January’s Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge.

The defender lifted the FA Cup in 2009 during Hiddink’s first caretaker spell as manager and the Blues boss is eager for further success in the competition, but not at expense of climbing further up the Premier League table from 10th position.

“It’s a very important cup to go for,” Hiddink said. “But you have to focus also on the Premier League and not neglect that.”

Source: PA

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 Posted by at 12:23 pm

Guus Hiddink: Chelsea heading into period of uncertainty

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Mar 102016
 

Interim boss Guus Hiddink has admitted Chelsea face a period of uncertainty in the likely absence of Champions League football next season after the defeat to Paris St Germain.

The Blues on Wednesday were dumped out of Europe as PSG won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge for a 4-2 aggregate success in the last-16 tie.

Chelsea are well adrift of qualifying through the Premier League – the Blues are 10th, 10 points behind fourth-placed Manchester City, with nine games remaining – 10 months after winning the title.

And next season appears likely to be Chelsea’s first without Champions League football under the ownership of Roman Abramovich, who took over in 2003. Their most recent season without top-level European competition was in 2002-03, when they played in the UEFA Cup.

“Chelsea is now in a transition period,” said Hiddink, who has restored stability following a turbulent start to the season under Jose Mourinho.

“They have to see how to go on and try to regain the lost terrain where Chelsea used to be. Chelsea must consider its short(-term) future, how to handle this.”

Chelsea’s only losses under Hiddink have been inflicted by PSG, who advanced to the quarter-finals for a fourth straight season and a second in a row at the expense of the Blues. The Dutchman insists his deal is only until the end of the season, when Chelsea will seek to appoint a permanent successor to Mourinho.

Chelsea’s woes have been personified by Eden Hazard, who was again disappointing.

The Belgian playmaker, Chelsea’s leading performer in last season’s Capital One Cup and Premier League double, was booed by a handful of home supporters as he was replaced 13 minutes from time, nursing a hip injury which makes him a doubt for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Everton.

Hiddink said: “Yes, they had the right to do what they think. You can express always your feelings.”

Hazard had at half-time swapped shirts with Angel di Maria, something Hiddink said he did not approve of, although he refused to condemn the Belgian.

“I’m aware. It should not be done,” the Dutchman said.

“But in some countries it’s usual that you do it (at half-time) and not after the game. Maybe they’re both used to doing that.

“Don’t overvalue this issue.”

Diego Costa did perform well for an hour, netting his second Champions League goal for Chelsea and 11th in 15 games under Hiddink, before he was substituted with an injury which, like Hazard’s, requires assessment.

Hiddink added: “Diego was desperate to play, although not 100 per cent fit. I don’t know if that became worse. I don’t know if it’s worse than before the Stoke game (which Costa missed as a precaution).”

Away goals had separated the sides in the last two seasons – Chelsea won the quarter-final tie in 2014, but were defeated at the last-16 stage in 2015 – and John Obi Mikel’s strike on February 16 at Parc des Princes gave Chelsea a fighting chance.

Costa cancelled out Adrien Rabiot’s opener before Chelsea conceded soon after he left the action as Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck. It was a cathartic moment for the Sweden striker, who missed the 2014 tie through injury and called Chelsea’s players “babies” following his sending off 12 months ago.

PSG boss Laurent Blanc lauded Ibrahimovic for his performance.

He said: “Zlatan performed at the level that he has been performing throughout this season. I don’t necessarily think it’s going to give him any more confidence. He has plenty of that as it is. He scored the decisive goal and laid on an assist.”

Source: PA

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 Posted by at 4:53 am

Guus Hiddink: Chelsea are now in a transition period

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Mar 092016
 

Interim boss Guus Hiddink admits Chelsea face a period of uncertainty and transition in the absence of Champions League football.

The Blues on Wednesday were dumped out of Europe as Paris St Germain won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge for a 4-2 aggregate success in the last-16 tie.

Chelsea are well adrift of qualifying through the Barclays Premier League – the Blues are 10th, 10 points behind fourth-placed Manchester City with nine games remaining – 10 months after winning the title.

“Chelsea is now in a transition period,” said Hiddink, who has restored stability following a turbulent start to the season under Jose Mourinho.

“They have to see how to go on and try to regain the lost terrain where Chelsea used to be. Chelsea must consider its short(-term) future, how to handle this.”

Next season appears likely to be Chelsea’s first without Champions League football under the ownership of Roman Abramovich, who took over in 2003.

Their most recent season without top-level European competition was in 2002-03, when they played in the UEFA Cup.

Chelsea’s only losses under Hiddink have been inflicted by PSG, who advanced to the quarter-finals for a fourth straight season and a second in a row at the expense of the Blues.

Away goals had separated the sides in the last two seasons – Chelsea won the quarter-final tie in 2014, but were defeated at the last-16 stage in 2015 – and John Obi Mikel’s strike on February 16 at Parc des Princes gave Chelsea a fighting chance.

The performance of Diego Costa did, too. He cancelled out Adrien Rabiot’s opener before departing injured after an hour. And seven minutes later Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck in a cathartic moment for the Sweden striker, who missed the 2014 tie through injury and called Chelsea’s players “babies” following his sending off 12 months ago.

Eden Hazard was again disappointing and he was booed by a handful of home supporters as he was replaced 13 minutes from time, nursing a hip injury which makes him a doubt for Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final at Everton.

“We’ll see if there’s big damage tomorrow,” said Hiddink, talking about both Costa and Hazard.

“Diego was desperate to play today, although not 100 per cent fit. I don’t know if that became worse. I don’t know if it’s worse than before the Stoke game (which Costa missed as a precaution).”

On the booing of Hazard, Hiddink said: “Yes, they had the right to do what they think. You can express always your feelings.”

Hazard had at half-time swapped shirts with Angel di Maria, something Hiddink said he did not approve of, although he refused to condemn the Belgian.

“I’m aware. It should not be done,” the Dutchman said.

“But in some countries it’s usual that you do it (at half-time) and not after the game. Maybe they’re both used to doing that.

“Don’t overvalue this issue.”

Hiddink felt Chelsea showed PSG too much respect early on and were punished when seeking a second goal.

“Second half we pushed, we tried to get 2-1 (ahead),” Hiddink added.

“We were on the edge around 65th minute to score. We didn’t do so, and they had an attack and killed the game at that moment.”

PSG boss Laurent Blanc felt his side controlled the game.

“We were preparing for a tough match and we were right to do so,” Blanc said.

“We didn’t necessarily think we were able to put in such a good performance away from home, so that is very pleasing.

“We controlled the game and that allowed us to have an easier night than we perhaps expected to.”

Blanc praised Di Maria and Ibrahimovic for their performances.

He added: “Angel di Maria gave Chelsea a problem from start to finish. They never knew where he was, but we always knew where to find him with the ball.

“Zlatan performed at the level that he has been performing throughout this season. I don’t necessarily think it’s going to give him any more confidence. He has plenty of that as it is. He scored the decisive goal and laid on an assist.”

Source: PA

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 Posted by at 8:53 pm

Chelsea 1 Paris St Germain 2 (paris St Germain Win 4-2 On Aggregate)

 Chelsea Latest news  Comments Off on Chelsea 1 Paris St Germain 2 (paris St Germain Win 4-2 On Aggregate)
Mar 092016
 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent Chelsea tumbling out of the Champions League as Paris St Germain claimed a 2-1 last-16 second-leg win at Stamford Bridge.

Diego Costa had looked like being the night’s hero after an all-action display and cancelling out Adrien Rabiot’s opener.

But Costa was substituted after an hour due to injury and Ibrahimovic struck seven minutes later to secure a 4-2 aggregate success.

Ibrahimovic, on the eve of the tie, had denied seeking revenge after 12 months ago being sent off at Stamford Bridge, but had vowed he was better than ever as he continues to chase the triumph in this competition which has proved elusive in his illustrious career so far.

And as he impressed, duly PSG advanced to a fourth straight Champions League quarter-final and Chelsea were left to contemplate the probability of being absent from the competition next season.

Eden Hazard was again disappointing and he was booed by a handful of home supporters as he was replaced 13 minutes from time.

Away goals had separated the sides in the last two seasons – Chelsea won the quarter-final tie in 2014, but were defeated at the last-16 stage in 2015 – and John Obi Mikel’s strike on February 16 at Parc des Princes gave Chelsea a fighting chance.

The performance of Costa did, too. The striker was labelled a “fraud” on social media by PSG on the eve of the contest and shed his protective mask inside 10 minutes to reveal himself.

Costa forced a save from Kevin Trapp in the opening moments after Rabiot, in for the injured Marco Verratti, had given the ball away.

Then Angel Di Maria and Lucas Moura set to work, targeting Chelsea’s left where Kenedy was deployed at full-back.

Branislav Ivanovic scampered back to deny Di Maria, after Lucas fed the former Manchester United winger, before Ibrahimovic stole in down the right and his cross beat Chelsea’s defence for Rabiot to tuck in at the far post. Kenedy was missing in action.

The television cameras panned to Chelsea’s injured captain John Terry, who was surely contemplating the end of his Champions League career.

PSG, who are without challengers in Ligue 1, looked like they had not had to defend all season. And Costa was more of a nuisance than Laurent Blanc had predicted.

PSG, leading 3-1 and with Mikel’s away goal wiped out, continued to play at a high tempo as they sought another. But they looked vulnerable, too.

Thiago Motta lost the ball in midfield to Pedro, who combined with Willian and then Costa, who did the rest. He turned Thiago Silva and fired into the bottom corner.

It was just his second Champions League goal in 15 games for Chelsea, but his 11th goal in 15 appearances under interim manager Guus Hiddink, whose only prior defeat since his appointment was in the first leg. It gave the Blues belief.

Ibrahimovic headed at Thibaut Courtois, while Cesc Fabregas shot wide and Hazard weakly at Trapp, who next saved sharply from Costa.

Hazard and Di Maria swapped shirts at half-time. Hiddink wanted Hazard to show his best after an anonymous first leg, but the Belgian was again poor.

Costa had been a menace, but departed and Chelsea’s only other real attacking threat was Willian. He stretched Trapp before Hazard’s poor follow-up was also saved.

Ibrahimovic then delivered, netting from Di Maria’s cross. It was a cathartic moment for the Sweden striker, who missed the 2014 tie through injury and called Chelsea’s players “babies” following his sending-off 12 months ago.

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Source: PA-WIRE

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 Posted by at 5:51 pm

Five talking points ahead of Chelsea v PSG

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Mar 082016
 

Chelsea play Paris St Germain in the Champions League last-16 second leg on Wednesday night. PSG won the first leg in Paris on February 16 2-1. Here Press Association Sport looks at some of the talking points ahead of the clash at Stamford Bridge.

HISTORY REPEATED

Chelsea and PSG meet in the knockout stage for a third successive year. Each time the second leg has been in London, with Chelsea winning the 2014 quarter-final tie on away goals after a late strike by Demba Ba. Twelve months ago, former Chelsea defender David Luiz forced extra-time and Thiago Silva netted the decisive goal. Who will be the hero this time? John Obi Mikel’s away goal could be key for the Blues as one goal will be enough provided they do not concede.

TROUBLE WITH TERRY

Chelsea captain John Terry has missed the last five matches with a hamstring injury. The first in that sequence was the first leg in Paris, which Chelsea lost 2-1. Right-back Branislav Ivanovic has switched to the centre in his absence and his partnership with Gary Cahill – selected since Kurt Zouma’s season-ending knee injury – has been good in recent weeks. The concern is the knock-on effect of Terry’s absence at left-back, where Baba Rahman has been less than convincing.

UNBEATEN BLUES

Chelsea’s only loss in 16 matches under interim boss Guus Hiddink – and 17 since Jose Mourinho’s sacking – was the first leg at Parc des Princes. Yet the Blues have had the benefit of good fortune and marginal calls from the officials, including last Tuesday at Norwich when Diego Costa scored from an offside position. Hiddink and Chelsea will hope luck is with them once again. It was not in his only other defeat in 38 matches as Chelsea boss, the controversial Champions League semi-final defeat to Barcelona in 2009 which is etched in the memory of fans.

LUIZ LIFT

David Luiz, who left Stamford Bridge for PSG ahead of the 2014 World Cup in a £50million deal, played like a man possessed in last season’s second leg, raising his game against his former employers before scoring a key goal. He had vowed not to celebrate if he scored, but did so with gusto. Chelsea will need to keep Luiz on the back foot and test his defensive vulnerabilities, rather than allow him to show his ball-playing talent.

DIEGO DOES DAMAGE

Diego Costa missed last Saturday’s draw with Stoke as a precaution and will be chomping at the bit to return against PSG. The striker had a woeful start to the season, but has netted 10 goals in 14 games under Hiddink. The Dutchman seems to have helped Costa change his focus from antagonising opponents to scoring past them. Costa’s European record could improve, though. He has just one Champions League goal for the Blues.

Source: PA

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 Posted by at 11:03 am