Love him or loathe him – Diego Costa is always box office.
The temperamental Spaniard continues to catch the headlines for his unpredictable antics after he was sent off in Saturday’s FA Cup defeat as he placed his head and mouth on the neck of Everton’s Gareth Barry.
It isn’t the first time the Chelsea striker has been in the news for a controversial incident – while a host of opponents finding themselves on the wrong end of his temper over the last couple of years.
Here in this article we take a look at five of those occasions.
Training ground bust-up with Oscar
Diego Costa was involved in what it looked a confrontation with teammate Oscar at Chelsea’s Cobham training ground in January this year.
The duo clashed furiously and even had to be separated by fellow players present there and coaching staff. It happened during a particularly intense training session just ahead of the club’s FA Cup tie against Scunthorpe.
Oscar is suggested to have gone in on Costa early on with what has been said as “a particularly hefty tackle”. Costa was alleged to have responded with an even stronger challenge that left Oscar incensed. Both of them after that squared up and exchanged some angry words before the teammates came between them. It was believed Oscar came off considerably worse from the two tackles.
Club sources, although, insisted the pair ultimately calmed down and were even seen going towards the dressing rooms together.
Studs to Martin Skrtel’s chest
Having clashed in earlier meetings between the two teams – all eyes were on particularly Diego Costa and Martin Skrtel when Liverpool travelled to Stamford Bridge in October.
Two what it was said, no-nonsense players, neither gave an inch in the clash, which ultimately ended with Liverpool came out 3-1 winners at Stamford Bridge.
The controversial moment came on the hour mark, when Costa looked to drive his studs direct into the chest of Skrtel, however the defender’s surprisingly low-key reaction arguably saving his opponent from further major punishment.
Despite the television pictures showing the exact thing – Costa received no retrospective action.
Stamp on Emre Can
Costa yet again hit the headlines in January last year as he was seen by television cameras stamping on Liverpool midfielder Emre Can.
The incident happened during the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues prevailing 2-1 on aggregate to reach Wembley. They eventually went on to win the competition.
But unlike the Skrtel incident, Costa was retrospectively punished by the FA for the stamp on Can. He was finally given a three-match suspension, missing key matches against Manchester City, Aston Villa and Everton.
Confrontation with Koscielny
Another retrospective ban came Costa’s way back in September last year, for an on-field bust-up with Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny.
The duo confronted in the penalty area, while Gunners defender Gabriel also got involved, and eventually seeing red card as the players jogged back to the halfway line after some huge protests by Costa that he had been kicked intentionally.
Gabriel’s red card was rescinded after the match, while Costa was banned for three matches after he was seen in TV replay to strike Koscielny in the face. The incident also led to Costa being dropped from the Spain team. However, Chelsea won the match 2-0.
Spitting on Sergio Ramos
During his good old days at Atletico Madrid, Costa also gathered plenty of controversial moments.
One of those came in 2012, during a La Liga derby against Atletico’s city rivals Real Madrid.
Costa had tussled with Real’s defensive pair Sergio Ramos and Pepe throughout the match, with television cameras catching one particular incident which showed Costa allegedly spitting into his own hand and throwing it towards Ramos. Lucky for the striker, Nothing came of it and Real running out winners on that night.