“He can do what he wants and he stays on. Everyone else that responds to him has to be sent off. It’s unacceptable. But he always gets away with it. He will do the same again next week, and the week after, and he always gets away with it….
“If you look at the pictures and what he does to [Laurent] Koscielny, he pushes him down and hits him in the face. He is always provoking and he also uses the naivety of [the referee] Mike Dean in this game, as well as my players. Gabriel deserves it but I don’t understand how Costa was not sent off.”
“Technically Costa didn’t commit a single foul during Chelsea’s 2-0 defeat of Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
“No: not one. Despite appearing to spend pretty much his entire 81 minutes in a state of malevolent contact with the opposition. Despite appearing to do very few things that weren’t semi-fouls or almost-fouls or simply fouls. And despite that two-minute spell at the end of the first half during which Costa conceived, directed and ultimately delivered the pivotal sending off of Gabriel, Arsenal’s centre half exiting the field as wide-eyed and pale as a prize tuna wriggling on the end of a hook shortly before having its brains bashed out on the harbour wall.
“Let’s be clear. Costa was horrible here: sandpaper made flesh, a blue-shirted jab in the eye and above all lucky not to be sent off himself. It is often said certain players they could start an argument in an empty room. Costa could start an argument alone on a deep space asteroid somewhere past Betelgeuse. He niggled, he provoked, he stopped the flow of the game, he deliberately and skilfully got an opponent sent off….”
“Costa was aided by some terribly naive refereeing from Mike Dean and his assistants, who appeared to have never actually seen him play before, to be have been ambushed – who knew? – by Costa’s mastery of pushing the rules in plain sight, and of nipping beyond them whenever the back is turned.
“This was never more apparent than in the game’s central incident, that outbreak of all-Brazilian jogo feio just before half-time. Tangling under a high ball, Costa gouged and then swiped at Laurent Koscielny’s face. Pushed away by the Frenchman, Costa leapt up and chest-bumped him to the floor. So, three potential yellow cards right there, two of them for Costa. At which point Costa was pulled away by Gabriel. Bad move. Like a virus, he had a new host. And so he was off: chuntering, jostling, niggling, muttering in Gabriel’s ear and basically begging, pleading with him to kick him. Come on. Do it. Kick me.”
Barney Ronay, The Guardian
“I wouldn’t like to be Mike Dean tonight” Arsene Wenger.
“Zouma and Hazard score as Arsenal implode in fiery London derby at Stamford Bridge” The Telegraph.
20 September 1913: First use of “Victoria Concordia Crescit” – Victory through Harmony – in the club’s programme. It was used by Henry Norris (although may have been suggested by George Allison) to symbolise the hard work and dedication that had taken Arsenal to Highbury, and was only later taken on as the club’s motto.
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