Chelsea chief Jose Mourinho admitted he had to gag himself or risk a ban after Diego Costa was suspended by the Football Association.
The striker was handed a three-match ban for violent conduct following his clash with Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny on Saturday.
Costa had denied an FA charge over the incident, not seen by referee Mike Dean, in which he appeared to raise his hands to Gunners defender Koscielny in the 2-0 win. On Tuesday Arsenal defender Gabriel won an appeal against his red card for confronting Costa after the initial incident.
Chelsea have stated they are “extremely disappointed” and, after last night’s 4-1 Capital One Cup win over Walsall, a clearly unhappy Mourinho refused to land himself in trouble.
He said: “If I bring examples, if I go deep and if I bring feelings into the discussion a big suspension will be waiting for me and I don’t want that. The team doesn’t need that, the team lost an important player for three matches and I don’t think they need to lose their manager.
“Every time you lose a player it’s not good for the team. It’s easier to accept an injury but this kind of situation goes much more deeper in feelings and the team is hurt. But now we know something, that retaliation is allowed now. No problem, you can do it.”
Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hailed fighter Mathieu Flamini after the midfielder marked his first appearance of the season with a double strike to help beat Tottenham 2-1 in the Capital One Cup at White Hart Lane last night.
The 31-year-old, who could have left the club during the summer transfer window, netted a superb second-half volley to secure bragging rights for Gunners fans.
Arsenal had taken a first-half lead when Flamini tucked the ball in from close range following a parry by goalkeeper Michel Vorm.
Spurs, though, rallied after the restart and were level on 56 minutes when Callum Chambers deflected a cross from Nacer Chadli past his own goalkeeper David Ospina.
However, it was Arsenal who finished strongly, with Flamini crashing in a fine 25-yard effort on 78 minutes following a ballooned clearance by Spurs defender Federico Fazio to send the travelling support into raptures.
“You do not expect Mathieu Flamini to score two goals but he was certainly frustrated for a long time and he went for it,” said Wenger.
“He has worked very hard recently and I saw in training he was very focused, that he had come back to a good level, also I wanted to strengthen our defensive midfield. He is a fighter, Mathieu, and a winner as well.
“I told him at the start of the season it might be difficult for him to be a starter, but he decided to stay and he did fight.”
Wenger was pleased with the way his team, which included several changes from the starting XI at Stamford Bridge, secured a hard-earned victory.
“Overall we responded well mentally and physically to the challenge we faced tonight, and it was a convincing performance,” the Arsenal manager said.
“We were unlucky with the own goal and after found the resources to score a second goal.”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino felt his side had done enough to get a positive result.
“It was a missed opportunity because we dominated the second half and had the better chances,” he said.
“In general the performance was very good.”
Capital One Cup fourth-round draw:
Manchester City v Crystal Palace, Liverpool v Bournemouth, Manchester United v Middlesbrough, Everton v Norwich, Southampton v Aston Villa, Sheffield Wednesday v Arsenal, Hull v Leicester, Stoke v Chelsea.
Ties to be played week commencing October 26.
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