To nobody’s surprise the Football Association have charged Chelsea’s Diego Costa and Arsenal’s Gabriel with violent conduct and improper conduct respectively after their clash during Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal, the Football Association announced.
“Diego Costa has been charged for an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video,” the FA said in a statement on its website. “The Chelsea forward was involved in an incident with Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny in the 43rd minute of the game.
“Arsenal defender Gabriel has been charged with improper conduct for his behaviour following his dismissal, whilst team-mate Santi Cazorla has been warned for his behaviour following his sending off. Finally, both clubs have been charged for failing to control their players under FA Rule E20.”
Costa, who risks a three-game suspension if found guilty, has until 17:00 GMT on Tuesday to respond to his charge, while Gabriel and the two clubs have until the same time on Thursday. Arsenal announced on Monday that they have made a claim for wrongful dismissal regarding Gabriel and are seeking to have his three-match ban overturned.
Costa twice appeared to strike Koscielny with his hand towards the end of the first half at Stamford Bridge and then became embroiled in an altercation with Gabriel, for which both players were booked.
Costa and Gabriel have a history dating back to their time in La Liga when Costa, then with Atletico Madrid elbowed Gabriel, who was with Villarreal. Neither player has obviously forgotten that incident as they continued to snipe at each other as they walked down the pitch and the the Arsenal defender flicked his heel towards the Chelsea striker and referee Mike Dean reacted by sending the Brazilian off.
The FA confirmed that Costa’s clash with Koscielny had not been seen by Dean and had therefore been referred to a panel of three former elite referees, all of whom considered it a sending-off offence.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho was furious when Costa was retrospectively sanctioned last season for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can, part of what the Chelsea boss perceived as a ‘campaign’ against his side which included a Sky Sports montage entitled ‘Costa’s Crimes’. He is not be amused if he loses his top striker for the next three games, especially considering the lack of options behind Costa.