By Editor Wayne Veysey
Diego Costa is facing another suspension of at least three matches after stamping on Martin Skrtel during Chelsea’s 3-1 defeat to Liverpool.
Costa escaped punishment during the match despite forcing his foot into Skrtel’s stomach after they had grappled one another to the ground during a tussle an hour into Saturday lunchtime’s Premier League clash.
Referee Mark Clattenburg did not appear to see the flashpoint but the TV footage appeared to be conclusive.
Ex-referee Howard Webb told BT Sport: “If Mark Clattenburg has the benefit of our cameras, Diego Costa would have been sent off there. It is a clear, clear red card. He is a lucky boy.”
Costa faces a charge of violent conduct after the Football Association examine the footage of the Skrtel incident early next week.
The likelihood is that the controversial striker will be slapped with his second restrospective ban of the season, although there is the possibility it could be increased from the standard three matches to a four-game suspension due to his history of violent conduct.
Costa was suspended for three matches by a three-man independent commission after clashing with Gabriel Paulista during Chelsea’s 2-0 win over Arsenal in late September.
Similarly, he escaped censure during the match but was found guilty of violent conduct and missed matches against Walsall, Southampton and Newcastle.
He is now likely to miss Chelsea’s forthcoming domestic fixtures against Stoke, Norwich and Tottenham.
Costa played the entire match against Liverpool but failed to add to his three goals this season.