Chelsea boss Mourinho defends Costa

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has moved to defend striker Diego Costa, with the Spaniard beginning to earn a reputation for being combative, Sky Sports has reported.

Signed in the summer after a prolific campaign for Atletico Madrid which earned the Vicente Calderon club the Spanish title, Costa has made a blistering start to life in the Premier League, netting seven times in his first four domestic games including a hat-trick last time out against Swansea City.

However, he has also been involved in a number of fractious incidents with opposing players, most notably at Everton where he criticised by their manager Roberto Martinez for showing a lack of respect.

He will now line up against Premier League title rivals Manchester City on Sunday, and ahead of that encounter, Mourinho defended his forward, saying: “Maybe it’s a point based on what happened in previous seasons, not what happened here. Here he got the right advice, the right education.

“The referees are there to see the provocation. Diego is trying to play. He’s not afraid of aggressive opponents. He doesn’t let other players intimidate him. He’s not there to provoke people. He’s there to play football and to score goals. He’s being completely fair and giving zero problems to referees and behaving very, very well and just worried about playing his football.”

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