Although Diego Costa received a red card in yesterday’s FA Cup game with Everton, it was actually a second yellow card rather than a straight red. Head referee Howard Webb told Fletch and Sav that he shouldn’t receive any further punishment because even though his behaviour was unacceptable, it still falls short of violent conduct and does not warrant further action.
“The outcome was correct – I think Costa deserved to go. I’m pretty certain Michael Oliver has cautioned him the second time for unsporting behaviour; part of that can be what’s called adopting an aggressive attitude. It covers a multitude of sins, but it’s something that falls short of violent conduct.
“When you look at what Costa does, he goes head-to-head with Gareth Barry. He reacts in a way that’s not acceptable, but it’s not violent, just because it looks like Costa thinks about biting him, he suddenly comes to his senses and doesn’t. And we pick up on the smile that he makes. Gareth Barry does do him a favour by not reacting. I think if he’d bitten Barry, Barry would have reacted anyway.”