Certainly there’s no “campaign against Chelsea” when it comes to Mike Dean.
And while Gabriel certainly deserves a pair of yellows for his actions — and ultimately, a stamp at Costa in front of Dean — how Costa escapes with a yellow for his work is out of this world illogical.
Chelsea’s mercurial striker first puts both his hands in Laurent Koscielny‘s face before lashing out with a wild left backhand.
And while we can ignore Koscielny’s farcical flop after a chest bump from Costa, it’s hard to ignore the brutish fireworks, mostly one-sided, between the baiting Costa and Gabriel.
The question is: if Costa is going to be allowed to bait players at will with his mouth (and body) without any “unsporting behavior” calls, why wouldn’t he? He’s allowed carte blanche at nagging Gabriel.
“Just ignore him, Gabriel. Ignore him. Ignore him. Keep ignoring him. Yeah, that’s sporting. Ignore him. You’re supposed to ignore him.”
It’s 100 percent a second caution for Gabriel, but how long is Costa allowed to go on? Costa’s work here is a disgrace, and Dean didn’t want to give a second yellow for unsporting behavior, so he lets Gabriel work his way into one. It’s chicken or egg.
Costa will end up earning Chelsea three points, but certainly without much dignity, and he is certainly among the biggest villains in sports.