Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has named striker Diego Costa his man of the match after Saturday’s 2-0 win at home to nine-man Arsenal.
The Spain international was lucky to have escaped referee Mike Dean’s red card after being the subject of several incidents with opponents, including swipes at Laurient Koscielny’s face and then the highpoint altercation with Gabriel Paulista, who on his own part received a straight red card for raising his back heel at the Spaniard.
“I don’t have a view on the sending off. Man of the match for sure was Diego Costa,” Mourinho told the BBC Sport. “He brought everything to the game.”
Kurt Zouma broke the deadlock in the second half before substitute Calum Chambers deflected an Eden Hazard shot beyond goalkeeper Petr Cech.
The Premier League champions have now recorded their second win of the season, as well as in the space of three days.
“Good victory, we need to win matches. We won twice in three days, we kept two clean sheets. We controlled the matches,” the Portuguese said of the win.
Costa was on target for the Blues in their 4-0 win over Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the midweek and also claimed an assist as Mourinho’s men opened their Uefa Champions League campaign with maximum points.
Who wants to be Mike Dean?
Arsene Wenger does not fancy stepping into the shoes of Wirral-based Dean because of what he described as “shameful” officiating by the referee, who not only overlooked sending off Costa, but also flashed a second yellow card at Arsenal captain Santi Cazorla.
Carzola received his second booking for a late tackle on Cesc Fabregas late on at Stamford Bridge, but Wenger felt the 47-year-old often made the wrong calls on Saturday and should have sent off Costa before an irate Gabriel could hit back.
“I would not like to be Mike Dean tonight,” Wenger told BT Sport. “I cannot understand how he dealt with the situations. Costa twice should be sent off. He hits him in the face in purpose. In every game he has aggravation and he gets away with it because of the weakness of the referee.
“Look at the pictures, and look only at him. We knew before the game he is only looking at that.
“Gabriel should not have responded at all but I think still that the two sending offs for us and Costa staying on the pitch is a shame. We have to accept that now and get on with it.”
Arsenal faces a trip to Tottenham Hotspur in the third round of the League Cup on Wednesday night and will be looking to rebound from the disappointments against Chelsea.