Diego Costa has been branded as a “cheat” by one of his own team-mates following a weekend where the Chelsea star found himself at the centre of on-field controversy.
The combative forward engaged in a prolonged on-field dispute with Arsenal centre-back Gabriel in Saturday’s Premier League clash at Stamford Bridge, after putting his hands in the face fellow visiting defender Laurent Koscielny.
To the amazement of many observers, Gabriel was sent off by referee Mike Dean, while Costa remained on the field to help Chelsea to a 2-0 win over their rivals.
Centre-back Kurt Zouma opened the scoring for Jose Mourinho’s team and, speaking to beIN Sport after the match, he conceded that Costa plays on the edge of the rules as a tactic to rile opponents.
“We’re not surprised because we know Diego,” Zouma said.
“Everyone knows Diego and this guy likes to cheat a lot and put the opponent out of his game.
“That happened in the game but he’s a really nice guy.
“We’re proud to have him, like the other players, and we’re happy to win this game.”