Diego Costa: Chelsea striker charged with improper conduct against Everton

Costa also asked to explain alleged gesture aimed at Everton fans

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The Independent Football

Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been charged for improper conduct during the FA Cup defeat against Everton on Saturday.

Costa will be asked to explain his behaviour after receiving a red card at Goodison Park - the striker reacted after a foul on Gareth Barry, clashed heads and even appeared to bite the midfielder, something the Everton man says didn't happen.

Costa will also have to explain an alleged gesture towards Everton fans.

An FA statement read: "It is alleged his behaviour, after being shown a second yellow card in the game, amounted to improper conduct.

"He has until 6pm on Thursday 17 March 2016 to respond to the charge.

"Meanwhile, the Chelsea striker has until Wednesday [16 March 2016] to provide his observations to The FA in relation to an alleged gesture he made towards Everton supporters while leaving the pitch at half-time."

The Chelsea front man has until Wednesday at 6pm to respond over the alleged gesture and until Thursday at 6pm to respond to the improper conduct charge, which followed his reaction to his dismissal. His automatic one-match ban for his red card, which rules him out of Saturday's Premier League clash with West Ham, could be extended if the charge is proven and if he is also sanctioned for the alleged gesture.

Costa was dismissed in the 84th minute for a second bookable offence - his first red card as a Chelsea player - after grappling with Barry. Barry was sent off three minutes later for a second yellow card and will miss Everton's game with Arsenal on Saturday.

Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink, who said his player had been "chased" during the game, later joked that he and Costa should go together to watch the film "Anger Management" after a catalogue of incidents since his £32million arrival at Stamford Bridge during the summer of 2014.

Costa had earlier collected his 10th Chelsea yellow card of the season, also following a clash with Barry, before seeing red with less than 10 minutes remaining.

He has twice been handed three-match retrospective bans by the FA. The first came after he was adjudged to have deliberately trodden on the ankle of Liverpool's Emre Can during a Capital One Cup semi-final in January 2015. And the second three-match suspension followed an altercation with Laurent Koscielny in a Premier League defeat of Arsenal last September.

Additional reporting from PA