Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been banned for three matches with immediate effect after being found guilty of violent conduct, the Football Association has announced.
The striker, 26, will miss the crucial clash with Manchester City on Saturday evening as well as the match at Aston Villa and the home game against Everton on 11 February.
Costa, who stamped on Liverpool's Emre Can in the opening minutes of the Capital One Cup semi final second leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, had appealed against the decision but was unsuccessful.
The charge caused Jose Mourinho to today cancelled his pre-match press conference in an attempt to avoid getting into further trouble with the FA. Costa did not face a charge for a later stamp on Martin Skrtel.
In a poll run by The Independent this morning (now closed), an overwhelming 222 of 301 voters, 74 per cent, DID NOT think that Costa should be handed a ban for his stamp on Emre Can.
Mourinho claimed the incident, which occurred in front of the dugouts but was missed by the match officials, was "absolutely accidental".
It was subsequently reviewed on video by referee Michael Oliver, with the charge following on Wednesday as part of the FA's fast-tracked procedures. Costa contested the charge on Thursday, but on Friday was found guilty and immediately banned.
A FA statement read: "Diego Costa will serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect after a charge of violent conduct against him was found proven by an independent regulatory commission today (Friday, January 30, 2015).
"The Chelsea forward had denied the charge in relation to an on-field incident involving Liverpool's Emre Can which occurred in the 12th minute of the League Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, January 27, 2015.
"The incident was not seen by the match officials but caught on video."
Mourinho cancelled his usual Friday pre-match media conference after Costa's charge and his own £25,000 fine for stating last month that there was a "clear campaign" against Chelsea.
The ban for the Brazil-born Spain striker is only likely to strengthen the Blues boss' view. The absence of Costa, who has scored 17 times in 19 Premier League appearances, is a major blow for Chelsea.
Football's dirtiest players - the contenders
Football's dirtiest players - the contenders
1/7 Diego Costa
In addition to his two stamps against Liverpool, the Chelsea striker picked up 10 bookings in all competitions last season. For a defender that might not be a terrible record but for a striker who doesn't strictly need to make many tackles, it's shocking. The chants of 'Diego, Diego' from Chelsea fans just seem to spur him on.
The Real Madrid man has built a career on being a no-nonsense defender. When he appeared to stamp on the hand of Lionel Messi during El Classico in 2012 he took it a bit far. He didn't do his side any favours in the 2010/11 Champions League semi-final either when he managed to get sent off during their defeat to great rivals Barcelona.
3/7 Sergio Ramos
Real Madrid have not one but two contenders for dirtiest player in the land. Ramos is a great talent, no doubt about it. But he's also an absolute liability. During the course of his career he's seen a stunning 19 red cards (although he didn't get sent off at all last season). To put that in context, that's more than Roy Keane (7) and Patrick Vieira (8) saw in the Premier League combined.
4/7 Luis Suarez
The Barcelona forward picks up bookings and red cards, but he also bites opponents (as Branislav Ivanovic, Giorgio Chiellini and Otman Bakkal can testify) and flips the bird at supporters that give him stick. A real contender.
5/7 Sergio Busquets
However, Suarez might not even be the baddest man at the Nou Camp. Busquets has been a central player in Barcelona's brilliant team over recent years but whilst the rest are playing tiki-taka, the midfielder can usually be found kicking opponents in the shin. He once stood on the head of Pepe, regularly dives and was accused of calling Marcelo a "monkey".
6/7 Philippe Mexes
If Mexes already had a reputation as a bad boy on the pitch he confirmed it just this weekend when he grabbed Lazio captain Stefano Mauri by the throat, an incident that earned him a four-match ban.
7/7 Joey Barton
Whilst the QPR midfielder parades as a reformed character more interested in philosophy than fighting, there remains a sense that trouble is never far from Barton. Away from the pitch he has stubbed a cigar into the eye of a young team-mate and been sent to prison for assault and affray for an incident in Liverpool city centre. Meanwhile he's been banned numerous times for on-field offences and most notably for 12 games for a training ground incident involving Ousmane Dabo in which he left his team-mate unconscious.
The City clash completes a tumultuous eight days at Stamford Bridge, which saw Chelsea dumped out of the FA Cup by League One Bradford, who inflicted the Blues' first home loss of the season, before advancing to Wembley in the Capital One Cup at Liverpool's expense.
Victory for Chelsea, who enter the weekend with a five-point lead over the holders, would give them an eight-point advantage with 15 games to go.
Lose and momentum would swing to City, who have lost to Arsenal and Middlesbrough in their last two games.
There is the additional sideshow of Frank Lampard, Chelsea's record goalscorer, returning to the ground where he spent 13 years, having said he would never play for another Premier League club.
Lampard scored an 85th-minute equaliser in the corresponding fixture in September, after which Manuel Pellegrini called Chelsea a "small team".
Cesc Fabregas (hamstring), Filipe Luis (calf) and Branislav Ivanovic (foot) are doubts after picking up injuries against Liverpool.
Gary Cahill is expected to be a substitute once more, with Kurt Zouma continuing in defence, while Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah are likely to miss out as reports intensify of imminent moves for the out-of-favour pair.
Additional reporting from PAReuse content