Jose Mourinho is not letting this go. Not at all.
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After Chelsea’s 4-1 League Cup win over Walsall on Wednesday, the Chelsea boss has spoken for the first time about the decision by the FA to rescind the red card shown to Arsenal defender Gabriel and subsequently dish out a retrospective three-match ban to Diego Costa following the duo’s violent clash in the first half of Chelsea’s 2-0 win against the Gunners last Saturday’s game at Stamford Bridge.
Mourinho summed things up with his own brilliant bluntness.
“Now we know that retaliation is allowed. No problem, you can do it,” Mourinho said.
Asked about Costa’s retrospective three-match ban for violent conduct which he was given on Tuesday after an Independent Regulatory Committee viewed video footage — referee Mike Dean and his officials failed to spot Chelsea’s forward strike Laurent Koscielny in the face twice in the lead up to the incident with Gabriel — Mourinho didn’t want to inflame the situation.
“If I bring feelings into the discussion a big suspension will be waiting for me and I don’t want that,” Mourinho said. “The team lost an important player for three matches and I don’t think they need to lose their manager. It’s easier to accept an injury but this kind of situation goes much more deeper in feelings and the team is hurt.”
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Is Mourinho right about Gabriel’s red card?
He could well be. Regardless of whether or not Gabriel made contact with Costa — new video footage seemed to show that he did not — the intent to kick Costa was there and Dean saw that and sent off the Brazilian defender for violent conduct. After the game on Saturday, even Gabriel’s manager, Arsene Wenger, admitted his player was in the wrong and deserved to be sent off.
Surely this decision by the FA to take away Gabriel’s red card is setting a bad precedent and will allow further retaliation and play a part in future games spiraling out of control? But no, it appears that if you now flick your leg out at an opponent in a David Beckham vs. Diego Simeone-esque manner, you may not get punished at all.