Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has panned the Premier League’s refereeing standards, claiming that his star striker Diego Costa is being victimised by officials.
As a result, Mourinho believes that Costa is playing his football completely differently to how he used to, which has disappointed him and left him frustrated.
He said: “Diego Costa is having an amazing season in terms of discipline and he has seven yellow cards.
“He’s being victimised? You have any doubts? Starting on day one when he was denied a penalty and given a yellow card at Burnley. He was booked for simulation – on day one.
“He has changed dramatically from the way he played in the past. I am frustrated, he is frustrated.”
Costa has been booked seven times this season, a significant amount given that he is a striker and Chelsea have only played 16 matches this campaign.
This means that Costa picks up a booking every 1.77 games.
Costa is renowned for his battling physical style, and was key to Atletico Madrid’s style last season as a result.
His excellent form for the Spanish side, which saw him aid them in a title win and run to the Champions League final, convinced Jose Mourinho to lay out a huge £32 million to bring him to Stamford Bridge.
Costa has rewarded him by scoring 12 goals in 16 games in the league.
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Last night’s display against Schalke spoke for a Chelsea side at the top of their game.
The 5-0 victory, away from home, against Roberto Di Matteo’s new team, was the absolute epitome of everything Jose Mourinho has been building since he took charge of Chelsea again last summer.
Unlike other teams in the Mourinho mould, his Chelsea side have graft and beauty in equal measure.
They now head into December, assuming they can manage the next game, undefeated in all competitions and with only one draw in the Premier League, which came away from home against last season’s champions Manchester City, showing the extent to which they are the top dogs in the English top flight.
Here’s why they’ve been so good:
1. Nemanja Matic
Brought back from Benfica for £21 million last January, Matic is the platform on which Chelsea play. He’s a dominating figure in the middle of the park and offers a shield for the back and talent going forward.
Bringing back Matic was arguably Mourinho’s best decision since his return.
2. Cesc Fabregas
An Arsenal hero, yes, but Fabregas will undoubtedly go on to make a bigger impact at Chelsea than he did with the north London side.
He offers creative flair alongside Matic, and the two in tandem are comfortably one of the stronger midfield pairings in the league.
3. Eden Hazard
This is an obvious one, but it’s staggering to think of how good Hazard has actually been this season. He’s scored more than 1 in 3, provides more than two chances a game for his teammates and completes 65.26% of his take ons, with the highest number in the league at 62 take ons.
He’s a genuine star and any team would be lucky to have him.
4. Diego Costa
Diego Costa looks like he eats bullets for breakfast and gunpowder for lunch, then tops it off with a lit match for dinner. He’s a brutal striker, one who scares defenders and backs it up with goal after goal.
He has 11 goals in only 10 games in the Premier League – what more could you ask for from a striker?
5. The Defence And Courtois
Mourinho’s sides are famed for their ability to keep out the opposition, but with more attacking drive in the team this could have fallen by the wayside.
It is to the credit of the defence and Thibaut Courtois, freshly returned from his loan spell at Atletico Madrid, that this has not happened. Courtois often displays moments of individual shot stopping brilliance when it looks inevitable that an opponent will score.
This is, in part, why Chelsea have the second best defensive record in the league, behind only surprise package Southampton. They’ve conceded only 11 goals.
Chelsea legend Frank Lampard has revealed his thoughts on the Stamford Bridge club’s new duo, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, saying that he is not particularly shocked that the pair have had a sensational impact since arriving in west London in the summer, as reported by the Daily Star.
Fabregas, who previously played for Arsenal, has made a significant difference to Chelsea’s playing style since his return to the Premier League, creating chance after chance for his teammates to plunder from.
Costa has been one of the prime beneficiaries of Fabregas’s service, and the Spain international has stormed to the top of the league’s goalscoring charts.
The Brazil-born player has already scored nine goals for the Blues, and aided them significantly in their rise to the top of the table.
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Both players have played a key role in Chelsea’s sensational start, which has seen them go into the second international break without losing a single game.
Lampard is not surprised, saying: “I’ve watched their games from afar and we’ve played against them.
“It’s no surprise for me with either of them. Cesc Fabregas, I played against him at Arsenal, he knows the Premier League and is a top, world-class player.
“And we watched Diego Costa before we played Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-final last year.
“We watched the video and we probably could have sat there for about three hours and watched his running and goals and everything he was doing.
“I thought he was some player and Chelsea have signed that player.”