Chelsea vs Manchester City: Diego Costa set to miss vital clash after charge for stamping

Jose Mourinho also fined for comments on referees

Diego Costa is almost certain to miss Saturday’s Premier League match against Manchester City after the Chelsea striker was hit with a violent conduct charge by the Football Association for his first-half stamp on Liverpool’s Emre Can during Tuesday’s Capital One Cup semi-final second leg.

The charge carries with it a three-game ban, although Costa was exonerated for a second-half stamp on Martin Skrtel. Chelsea have until 6pm today to decide whether or not to appeal against the decision and if they do so, the independent regulatory commission will decide Costa’s fate tomorrow.

It is highly unlikely that the charge would be overturned, and the most that Costa can hope for would be a reduction of the three-match ban, which would encompass games against City, Aston Villa and Everton. Under the fast-track process the incident will be dealt with in time for the weekend games. There will be no personal hearing but the club can submit video evidence and documentation to support the player’s cause.

Eden Hazard said after Tuesday’s game that Costa “gives his life” for the team. “When you play with this guy, you have to give everything. You can see in every action and for every ball, he gives his life. Even if he didn’t score, he gave his life. For us, for the players, when you play with him, it’s very good.”

Asked if Costa was the same in training, Hazard said that was not the case. “No, in training he is a little bit different. In the game he is very good. He never stops. He had a very good mentality against Liverpool. I think every team and every player knows him now. He got one yellow card. We need him because he can score every minute, every second. He did very well.”

Costa was charged after Tuesday’s referee, Michael Oliver, was asked whether he had seen the two incidents in the game. Having said he did not see the one involving Can, he was asked what punishment he would have considered necessary. Oliver said it was a red-card offence.

That second part of the process is according to Football League rules, as the match was in a League competition. In the equivalent disciplinary cases in the Premier League, there is a separate panel for deciding the punishment. It was decided the Skrtel incident was accidental.

The FA has fined Chelsea’s manager, Jose Mourinho, £25,000 and warned him as to his future conduct for claiming there was a “clear campaign” against the club, after referee Anthony Taylor failed to award a penalty in the club’s draw with Southampton on 28 December.

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Jose Mourinho was fined £25,000 for his comments on the referee

That FA hearing took place in secret on Tuesday ahead of the game against Liverpool, and Mourinho was found to have been guilty of “improper conduct” for his comments about referees. But the commission decided he was not implying bias.

The FA said: “Following an independent regulatory commission hearing, Jose Mourinho has been fined £25,000 after he was found to have breached FA rules in relation to media comments.

“The independent regulatory commission found the comments were a breach of FA rule E3 in that they were improper and brought the game into disrepute. The commission did not, however, find that the comments implied bias on the part of a referee or referees.” Chelsea will now consider the written reasons for the sanction.

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