Diego Costa’s aggressive streak was on full display in Chelsea’s season opener against West Ham on Monday. The striker’s controversial tackle on Hammers keeper Adrian was the main talking point after the game.
The Brazil-born Spain striker was shown a yellow card for hassling the referee in accordance with the new rules implemented by the FA this season. He was very lucky to avoid a second yellow card later in the game after a late challenge on West Ham goalkeeper Adrian.
Costa recently spoke out about his first booking, saying that he didn’t know about the new yellow card rule.
“I am aware of it now,” the Blues striker said in an interview with ESPN Brazil. “The second time I went to talk to him, he showed me [the yellow card]. I even found it a bit weird, but then I understood. I went to apologise at half-time and that’s it.”
Although the Spaniard had praised the crowd at Stamford Bridge earlier in the interview, he went on to claim that he was always a target for the English referees and the people, regardless of his actions.
“But I’ll be honest, I am targeted here, by the referees, the people… if I do something, it’s totally different than if any other players do,” he said. “It needs to be seen, that people targeted me.
“It’s something I have to deal with and I ask god that these things don’t disturb me and don’t take the sequence of the games from me, which happens sometimes and gives me suspensions.”
Diego Costa endured a poor season last time around, scoring just 12 goals in 28 Premier League appearances for Chelsea. However, his winning goal against West Ham in the Blues opening game is a great way to kick-start the new season and is likely to give him a lot of confidence going forward.
Apart from scoring goals, the 27-year-old will also have to check his discipline this season. Costa is known for harassing referees and opposition players during games. The new FA ruling means that if he pushes the boundaries, he may well end up picking up needless bookings that may ultimately lead to suspensions.