Monday 11 December 2017

'If he wants to hurt me, it's not with a bib' - Mourinho plays down bust-up with Diego Costa

Costa did not warm up after being dropped to the bench
Costa did not warm up after being dropped to the bench

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho played down any suggestion of a falling-out with Diego Costa after dropping the striker for Sunday's goalless draw at Tottenham.

Costa was not used at White Hart Lane as Mourinho lost patience with the striker, who tossed his substitutes' bib over his shoulder in the direction of his manager in the final moments of a goalless draw which will do little to kick-start the Barclays Premier League champions' season.

Mourinho said: "If he wants to hurt me, it's not with a bib. I have a good relationship with him, no problems.

"I think Diego is very privileged because he was the last one to be (put) on the bench.

"Everybody was on the bench. I kept him in the team for all these matches and today we thought the best strategy to play was this one. We are happy with the decision."

Costa did not warm up ahead of the game and appeared pitch-side with trainers, rather than boots on, broadcasters sitting near the Chelsea bench reported.

Mourinho says Costa warmed up when instructed to do so.

"A top player going on the bench, they are not happy," Mourinho added.

"For me his behaviour was normal. He was ready to play when they went to warm up."

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