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Arsene Wenger calls on referee Mike Dean to look again at Diego Costa antics

Published 20/09/2015

Nemanja Matic says Chelsea wanted victory more than Arsenal
Nemanja Matic says Chelsea wanted victory more than Arsenal

Arsene Wenger has called on Mike Dean to review Diego Costa's actions in Arsenal's 2-0 loss at Stamford Bridge on Saturday as the Football Association awaits the referee's report into a feisty game where the Chelsea striker was the main protagonist.

The match officials should have been aware of Costa's reputation during his first 14 months in the Premier League, says Wenger, but statistics show the striker did not commit a foul in the match.

The Gunners boss rebuked Dean for allowing the running feud between Costa and Gabriel to continue before the Arsenal defender saw red.

Dean will file his report by Monday and the FA will decide whether Costa should face retrospective action and a possible three-match ban.

"(Dean) let it go and I don't know why," Wenger said.

"I would like Mike Dean to look at the whole action that happened during the game and see if he stands for his decision.

"You have a fourth official, you have a linesman, the referee and they talk all game. They can tell you and they know Diego Costa. He is not a newcomer.

"It is surprising. If I am a referee and I referee Diego Costa, I do not send somebody off quickly if he responds to it because you know he has been well provoked."

Wenger, though, did not condone Gabriel, who was sent off for reacting to Costa's taunts, insisting even if a player is spat at he must keep his cool.

Gabriel became involved after Costa grappled with Laurent Koscielny, pushing the defender in the face with his hands before catching him with a flailing arm.

"You have to be above that," Wenger added.

"To be professional, to me, is to deal with that. You can spit in my face and if it's in a game then I will not respond. I do not guarantee that outside of the game.

"The desire to win has to be above all of that."

Arsenal have been accused of having a soft underbelly in recent seasons and part of Wenger was pleased to see that his team would not be intimidated.

"We are equipped to respond but we always have to keep control of our response," he said.

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho chastised Gabriel for losing "emotional control", insisting Costa kept his.

Mourinho said: "Of course. That's (the opinion of) people that don't have the same opinion as I have.

"When you work the way he did, his movement, his creation. He was fantastic.

"The opponents have to keep emotional control, because to play against an attacking player that is aggressive, that goes to every ball, that fights for every ball, that is physical, it's difficult."

Costa is "loved" by his team-mates and "trains like he plays - fantastic", says Mourinho, who insists his players maintain control in opposition to the striker in training.

Mourinho refused to say if Costa would rile him in opposition, saying it is challenging to play against Wayne Rooney, Christian Benteke, Luis Suarez and Gonzalo Higuain.

"But it's because of these players that football is what football is and (there is) so much passion around, because they create passion," Mourinho added.

Had results gone against them Chelsea could have been bottom of the table on Saturday evening.

Mourinho said: "I knew the teams had two points and we had four.

"But I am not worried about that. I don't believe in December we are fighting (to avoid) relegation."

Mourinho is looking for a third straight win at Walsall on Wednesday in the Capital One Cup Chelsea won in March, with Costa poised to be rested. Radamel Falcao is slated to start alongside John Terry.

Mourinho maintains Arsenal have the squad to be champions after taking his record against Wenger to 15 played, one defeat.

After successive losses - to Dinamo Zagreb and then Chelsea - Arsenal play at Tottenham in the League Cup on Wednesday.

Wenger said: "It's true that we played the last two games with 10 men in the second half and I hope we play one with 11 v 11.

"(But) it's another derby and that's not guaranteed as well."

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