LONDON: Chelsea’s Spain forward Diego Costa was on Tuesday banned for three matches for raising his hands to the face of Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny. Costa was found guilty of violent conduct during Chelsea’s 2-0 Premier League win over their London rivals on Saturday.
The 26-year-old former Atletico Madrid striker had denied the Football Association charge over the incident, which had been missed by referee Mike Dean. In a statement, Chelsea said: “We are extremely disappointed with the FA Regulatory Commission’s decision to suspend Diego Costa. We will await their written reasons before commenting further.”
Costa twice appeared to strike Koscielny with his hand towards the end of the first half at Stamford Bridge and then became embroiled in an altercation with Arsenal’s Brazilian defender Gabriel, for which both players were booked. Moments later, with Costa and Gabriel continuing to snipe at each other, the Arsenal defender flicked his heel towards the Chelsea striker and Dean reacted by sending the Brazilian off.
However, earlier on Tuesday, Arsenal won an appeal against Gabriel’s dismissal, freeing the 24-year-old to play in Arsenal’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur in the League Cup on Wednesday.