Jose Mourinho has played down talk of a disagreement between himself and Diego Costa after the Brazilian born Spanish forward appeared to throw a bib at his manager during yesterday’s London derby.
Costa was Chelsea’s highest scorer last season, firing the Blues towards their fourth Premier League title. He has struggled to find that form again this term, however, and he appeared to be engaged in a heated argument with Mourinho as the first half of Chelsea’s Champion’s League match against Maccabi Tel Aviv reached its conclusion during the week.
Mourinho suggested the pair had been all ‘kisses and cuddles’ during the half-time interval and that there wouldn’t be any problems moving forward, but Costa found himself relegated to the bench for the London derby against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
Costa has only managed to find the net once in his last eight appearances for the Blues, with that goal coming last weekend against Norwich City. Mourinho defended his decision to drop the striker, saying, “I think Diego is very privileged. He is the last player to be on the bench. Everyone has been on the bench – the captain [John] Terry, [Branislav] Ivanovic, [Gary] Cahill, [Cesc] Fabregas, Pedro and player of the season [Eden] Hazard. Diego is privileged to have been kept in the team for all these matches and today we thought our best strategy was to play with this. I am happy with my decision and the players. Eden could play the 90 minutes and was so good and dangerous for us, I felt he could have scored a goal”.
Costa was an unused sub in the derby and allowed his frustration to get the better of him when he realised, after 92 minutes, that he wasn’t going to get any game time. He ran back along the touchline after warming up, removed his bib and appeared to throw it at Jose Mourinho. Thankfully for Costa it missed its intended target, but even if it had struck the self-proclaimed Special One he wouldn’t have been too annoyed. He said, “If he wants to hurt me it would not be with a bib”.
Mourinho claimed he was happy to see that his first choice striker still had some fighting spirit left in him. Before the match he claimed he was worried about the damage constantly playing Costa without him scoring could do to him, saying, “He’s playing every match and things are not going really well for his confidence”. Yet after the game the Chelsea boss was keen to play up Costa’s desire and said, “Diego is physically fine, no problems. He works well, every day his mood is positive, he is the positive guy in the team. I do not expect to have a player on the bench jumping and shouting because he is not playing”.
Mourinho will hope to see his side turn a corner after a win against Norwich in the Premier League, a win against Maccabi Tel Aviv in the Champion’s League and this draw against Spurs. It means that Tottenham are now unbeaten in thirteen games in the top flight whilst the Blue side of London are still languishing at the wrong end of the league table.