Antonio Conte surprised Swansea had nobody sent off as he praises Diego Costa's 'patience'

Antonio Conte surprised Swansea had nobody sent off as he praises Diego Costa's 'patience'

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte praised Diego Costa's "patience" after accusing Swansea players of trying to kick him throughout their Liberty Stadium draw.

Costa scored twice as Chelsea preserved their unbeaten Premier League record in an exciting 2-2 draw, the Spanish striker equalising nine minutes from time after Swansea had overturned his first-half effort.

It was another eventful afternoon for the controversial Costa as he was booked in the first half for fouling Leroy Fer and later escaped a second yellow after appearing to dive to try and win a free-kick.

"I am surprised they did not have a player sent off," Conte said after Andre Marriner had booked three Swansea players.

"I do not want to reply about this, but after the game I am asked about it.

"I was asked about the patience of Diego Costa and I can tell you he behaved fantastically well to control the situation because he took a lot of kicks from the first minute until the end.

"It is difficult, but he showed me and his team-mates that he has fantastic behaviour and it was not easy for him.

"I think he gets targeted by defenders. They know him and sometimes they try to provoke him.

"It is a normal situation. Diego is a player with good patience and they try to provoke him, but this is football.

"I think the referee must see these things to allow Diego Costa to play his football."

Chelsea captain John Terry suffered an ankle injury in the closing stages which will be assessed on Monday.

Terry reportedly left the Liberty Stadium on crutches, but Conte is confident he will be fit to play against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Friday.

"I don't know the extent of the injury, but tomorrow we will see the situation about his ankle," said Conte.

"But he is a warrior and I am not worried.

"It's very difficult to talk about the game and the final result because I think Chelsea deserved to win.

"We created a lot of chances to score many goals, and I think we were dominating the game when we were leading 1-0.

"But in only two minutes we were losing 2-1.

"For the second goal I think everyone can see the foul on (Gary) Cahill and there is a big mistake from the referee.

"I don't want to complain, but this is the reality and it is a pity."

Swansea were outplayed for almost an hour until Thibaut Courtois' rush of blood handed them a route back into the game.

Courtois felled Gylfi Sigurdsson just inside the area - the Iceland international equalised from the penalty spot - but escaped a red card.

"Yes, he could have been sent off," said Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin.

"But I accept the referee's decision. He is in his place and his job is very difficult."

Guidolin sprang a surprise by playing three central defenders, but he scrapped the system just before half-time, with Wales international Neil Taylor sacrificed as Swansea returned to four at the back.

Taylor was visibly unhappy as he left the pitch and Guidolin said he had apologised to the player for taking him off before the interval.

"I'm sorry for Neil Taylor. I'm not used to changing a player before the end of the first half," said Guidolin.

"If I'd waited until the break, it might have been better for him.

"There is no problem between me and Neil. I spoke with him in the dressing room and I thought this change was good for us."

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