The highly anticipated match between Watford FC and Chelsea FC rolled on to a 0-0 draw, but the highlight of the game seemed to be the tangle that Juan Carlos Paredes and Diego Costa got themselves into.
After a bit of pushing around, both the players were rolling around on the ground, clutching their face, something that the referee clearly did not like, as both Paredes and Costa were booked. However, Chelsea FC manager Guus Hiddink defended his player’s actions, saying that Diego Costa was “provoked” by the opposition.
“It was close to us and we saw what happened,” Hiddink was quoted saying to BT Sport [via ESPN FC]. “Paredes gave him a push in the back and after that there was a stumbling between the two of them, and then he put his hands to his face and Diego was nowhere near his face.
“They tried to provoke him a bit but I have to defend him on what I see, and that is the reality of what we saw just in front of our eyes,” Hiddink continued.
In fact, the Dutchman even went one step further by saying that Costa was as calm as ever, when he came back to the dressing room a few minutes later, at half time.
“[Costa] knows he was provoked. When things are going wrong they go wrong, but when they are provoked I protect my players and I think it’s very fair,” said Hiddink. “He was very calm at half-time. We were just focusing on our goal and he was focusing on that and not on other provocations.”
Can Costa overcome his ‘beast mode’?
The Spain international has been involved in a lot of off the ball spats with his opponents, who have realised that the otherwise lethal Diegp Costa can be rendered ineffective, when wound up. Costa on his part, has been looking for a fight more than the back of the net this season. That seemed to have changed in the last few matches, after the departure of Jose Mourinho. However, Costa’s ‘beast mode’ reappeared again, when he clashed with Paredes against Watford FC.