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Chelsea boss Hiddink defends Costa conduct

SoccerNews in English Premier League 8 Mar 2016

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Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has defended the behaviour of star striker Diego Costa ahead of the club’s Champions League last-16 return leg against Paris Saint-Germain. 

PSG’s official Twitter account took a light-hearted dig at the Spain striker in a Vine, in which they asked fans to “spot the fraud” among a slideshow of masked superheroes and Costa wearing a protective mask for a broken nose.

Costa has never been sent off for Chelsea, but his on-field antics have drawn heavy criticism and he has twice been retrospectively banned for three domestic matches during his time at Stamford Bridge.

However, Hiddink leapt to the defence of the Spain international, believing his actions do not go “over the edge”.

“I’m very proud of him the way he’s playing and, going not over the edge, but he likes to fight in the real way of the game,” Hiddink said ahead of Wednesday’s second-leg at Stamford Bridge.

“That’s what we like. I protect him and support him when he’s doing what he has done in my period at Chelsea.

“He scored recently in not the worst league in the world. In the Premier League he frequently is scoring now, since December, January.

“Before he had also this problem not scoring, as did the team. Let’s see and hope he can make it to the European level as well.”

Hiddink also defended the decision to substitute Eden Hazard in the 2-1 loss in the first leg at the Parc des Princes and backed the Belgium winger to showcase his talent in the return contest. 

“At that time when he was playing away in Paris he was in that period just coming back from a rather severe injury,” the Dutchman added.

“We could not ask him to be game fit at that moment. He had two or three actions that looked like Hazard.

“We are some weeks further into the league and game fitness. He can and must show what he is capable of, which is more than the away game.”

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