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Premier League needs Costa controversy, says Mourinho

The Chelsea striker was central to Gabriel’s first-half dismissal

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho points to his players as he watches his side from the touchline during the English Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho points to his players as he watches his side from the touchline during the English Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

CHELSEA MANAGER JOSE Mourinho feels Diego Costa’s controversial showing in the win over Arsenal made him man-of-the-match, adding it represents why the Premier League remains popular.

Costa was central to Gabriel’s first-half dismissal — having struck Laurent Koscielny in the face before being kicked out at by the Brazilian centre-half, before Santi Cazorla was then dismissed.

But it was Costa’s colourful display that attracted the ire of Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger – who branded the striker’s behaviour “unacceptable”, although Mourinho stated his display was pure theatre.

“If you want to speak about Diego Costa with me, he played like he has to play,” he told reporters.

“That’s why you have full stadiums and the game watched around the world by millions and millions. The game has to be played like that.

“That is why tomorrow I will go to see what I consider comparable in terms of dedication and passion, New Zealand and Argentina [in the Rugby World Cup] – I go tomorrow because I love it. Fantastic, Diego.

“Costa was man-of-the-match for me. Of course [it was not a red card for Costa]. “It was the same referee who made all the decisions in the game and who didn’t give two clear penalties for us. There are also rules for what Gabriel did to Eden Hazard.

“Gabriel Paulista did something on Eden Hazard in the box that is allowed in rugby and not in football. In the box, it’s a penalty. In the second half, someone did it on Diego Costa. “In rugby it’s fantastic but in football it’s a penalty. I have to cope with my defeats, [Wenger] has to cope with his.”

Video replays would resolve Costa issue and more Premier League talking points>

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