Diego Costa: Jose Mourinho launches passionate defence after apparent stamps by Chelsea striker on Emre Can and Martin Skrtel

The striker was the target of fierce post-match criticism from Reds boss Brendan Rodgers and former Anfield midfielder and Sky pundit Jamie Redknapp

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The Independent Online

Jose Mourinho launched a desperate defence of Diego Costa, attacking Jamie Redknapp and Brendan Rodgers, in an attempt to ward off a likely ban for his star striker.

Costa appeared to stamp on Liverpool’s Emre Can and Martin Skrtel, prompting fierce post-match criticism from Redknapp on Sky Sports, and Rodgers in his post-match press conference. But Mourinho insisted that the two stamps were “absolutely accidental”, before attacking Redknapp for his continued criticism of Chelsea and his players.

“He goes to the ball, he chases it, the opponent goes to the floor and he puts his foot there when he is looking at the ball,” said Mourinho after the game.

“I don’t know what you understand by a stamp. Maybe you are already influenced by the campaign on the television with certain pundits saying that Costa has ‘crimes’. They must be nuts the guy who says that.”

Without naming Redknapp, Mourinho went on to attack his objectivity and fairness on the subject of Chelsea. “We know how much that pundit loves Chelsea and particularly loves me,” Mourinho said. “You are very well paid, much more than some managers that put their ass for 90 minutes every week on the bench. You have a very good seat, very good money, no pressure. They are always right, they never lose, they always win.”

After attacking Redknapp, Mourinho turned his fire on Liverpool manager Rodgers who had called Costa’s two stamps “poor” and “nasty”. Mourinho chose to single out how Rodgers’ praised Chelsea players before Liverpool players in the aftermath of the game.

“We are very different persons,” Mourinho said. “I could speak about [Martin] Skrtel and I don’t. He speaks about [Thibaut] Courtois and forgets [Simon] Mignolet. He speaks about my keeper but when I do I speak about him? To say Courtois played fantastic I could say the same about Mignolet. We have different profiles, he is a fantastic manager but we are different persons.”

Rodgers had said that Costa’s stamps were entirely on purpose. “The one with Emre Can, that was poor,” Rodgers said. “He could easily hurdle over the young player. But he directs his studs right onto his ankle, which could have been nasty. And the one with Martin Srktel, again, there’s no need to do it. That’s the sad thing. It’s disappointing to see such a good player behave like that.”

Despite Mourinho’s insistent defence of Costa, the Brazilian striker could well be charged by the Football Association, which could keep him out of Chelsea’s crucial Premier League match with Manchester City on Saturday.

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