As expected, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has hit out at Diego Costa ’s three-match ban and the overturning of Gabriel Paulista’s red card by insisting: “Retaliation is now allowed.”
The Special One claimed he would suffer a heavy touchline suspension if he gave his true feelings about the retrospective FA action taken after Chelsea’s 2-0 victory over Arsenal on Saturday.
But he claimed the flashpoint between Costa and Arsenal defender Gabriel was nothing more than a “men’s discussion”.
And he was furious that Gabriel had been cleared for retaliation – after Nemanja Matic had been sent off for hitting back at Burnley’s Ashley Barnes, for what Mourinho believes was a potentially leg-breaking tackle last season.
“We know something which is that retaliation is allowed now. You can do it.”
Asked to compare Saturday’s clash with the incident involving Matic and Barnes, the Chelsea boss said: “You cannot compare a leg almost broken with men’s discussion, you cannot compare that with a leg almost broken. That’s what it was, a mens’ discussion.”
On Costa’s ban, Mourinho added:
“I don’t comment (more) because if I bring examples and go deep and bring feelings into the discussion a big suspension for me will be waiting and I don’t want that. The team doesn’t need that.
“We lost an important player for three match and don’t need to lose their manager. So I prefer to keep calm and quiet.”
Costa is now banned from matches against Newcastle and Southampton, after missing the 4-1 Capital One Cup victory at Walsall.
And Mourinho said: “I don’t know if the squad can cope (with Costa’s ban). Every time you lose a player it’s not good for the team and it’s easier to accept an injury.
If Mourinho is upset with this ban, he will claim a witchhunt against the champions if the FA hits him with a five-match ban for the Eva Carneiro incident as is being rumored.