The enigma of Diego Costa

Sebastian Quinn Roar Guru

By , Sebastian Quinn is a Roar Guru

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    He’s one of the most divisive footballers on the planet, but there’s no denying the ability of Chelsea striker Diego Costa.

    Costa was once again in the thick of things in Chelsea’s FA Cup quarter-final clash against Manchester United, causing quite the headache for Marcos Rojo in particular.

    The Brazilian-Spanish striker caused trouble for United all night but was unable to find the back of the net despite multiple chances.

    What Costa was able to do, however, was dive, feign injury and get away with a clear swipe at the face of Marcos Rojo.

    The two clawed at each other throughout the second half and culminated in Costa going down clutching at his ankles after Rojo ran into his upper thigh.

    The Blues escaped the FA Cup tie with a narrow 1-0 win thanks to N’golo Kante’s long-range effort in the 51st minute.

    They will now face Tottenham in the semi-finals with Costa’s dirty tactics sure to be a significant factor at Wembley.

    But Chelsea fans justify Costa’s absurd behaviour with the reminder that he is arguably one of the most lethal Premier League strikers in recent memory.

    He’s scored three goals in the Blues’ past four games and is currently tied third in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot with 17 goals to his name.

    The striker’s scoring at a rate of a goal every 130 minutes – put simply, a goal for every one and a half games.

    Chelsea’s Diego Costa celebrates scoring

    He’s a physical presence in the box and has an uncanny ability to finish from tight angles.

    The Spaniard is the definition of a poacher who is always in the right place at the right time to finish off an attack.

    And take nothing away from him, Costa’s offensive awareness and positioning are second to none in the Premier League.

    No stranger to Costa is Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany, who spoke highly of him to the media prior to their clash back in 2015.

    “Costa has an edge to his game that makes him a player to be careful with. I think he’s a special breed of striker. Rooney has that edge, so does Suarez.

    “They want to use more than just their feet to get their goals … Playing against those strikers you can never predict the outcome because they’re just so good that if I’m having the best game of my life they can still score a goal.”

    But the Costa has missed a total of 12 games due to disciplinary action with half of those coming directly from the FA because of his various indiscretions.

    His most famous bust-up was in September 2015 where he and Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny were constantly grappling throughout the course of the first half.

    A few swift shoves to the face of the French defender just before halftime led to Gabriel rushing in to stand up for his fellow centreback.

    The Brazilian defender would then exchange words with Costa as the two approached the halfway line and lashed out at him after being baited by the Spaniard.

    Referee Mike Dean was left with no choice but to hand Gabriel a straight red and Chelsea capitalised soon after halftime with Kurt Zouma scoring the opening goal.

    The Frenchman spoke openly about Costa following the 2-0 win and discussed his win-at-all-costs approach to games.

    He said: “Everyone knows Diego and this guy likes to cheat a lot and put the opponents out of their game, and that happened in the game.

    “He’s a real nice guy in life and we are very proud to have him.”

    Arsene Wenger described Costa’s behaviour to be “disgusting.”

    Jose Mourinho meanwhile handed Costa the man of the match award.

    And that is Diego Costa in a nutshell.

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