Belfast Telegraph

FA Cup: I wasn't bitten by Diego Costa, insists Everton star Gareth Barry

By Staff Reporter

Everton midfielder Gareth Barry has confirmed he was not bitten by Diego Costa as the controversial Chelsea striker found himself at the centre of a fresh storm.

Costa was dismissed for a second bookable offence six minutes from the end of his side's 2-0 FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Goodison Park after an ugly clash with Barry in which he appeared to make a motion to bite the Toffees midfielder before thinking better of it.

Barry did not speak to the media after the game, but it is understood that he has privately dismissed the allegation, which was also denied by Costa in a club statement.

The Football Association is awaiting referee Michael Oliver's report before making a judgment on the Spain international's latest misdemeanour, although Barry's evidence could prove invaluable to him.

However, Burnley midfielder Joey Barton, himself no stranger to the game's disciplinary chiefs, has urged authorities not to overreact to "pantomime villain" Costa's most recent rush of blood.

Barton said: "What we have to remember is nobody has died.

"It's a game of football. You have had two grown men basically square up, no punches have been thrown, nothing serious has happened, both have gone home to their families, one team has lost, one team has won."

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