Football: Diego Costa, Gabriel charged over Chelsea-Arsenal clash

Chelsea's Diego Costa (left) has an altercation with Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista (right) resulting in Gabriel being sent off during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at Stamford Bridge in London on Saturday.
Chelsea's Diego Costa (left) has an altercation with Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista (right) resulting in Gabriel being sent off during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea FC and Arsenal FC at Stamford Bridge in London on Saturday.PHOTO: EPA

LONDON (AFP) - Diego Costa and Gabriel have been charged with violent conduct and improper conduct respectively over incidents during Chelsea's 2-0 win over Arsenal, the Football Association announced on Monday.

Chelsea striker Costa has been charged for apparently swinging his arm at Laurent Koscielny during Saturday's game, with Arsenal's Gabriel charged for his reaction to being sent off for kicking out at Costa shortly after.

Gabriel's team-mate Santi Cazorla has also been warned as to his behaviour following his dismissal later in the game, while both teams were charged with failing to control their players.

"Diego Costa has been charged for an alleged act of violent conduct which was not seen by the match officials but caught on video," the FA said in a statement on its website.

"The Chelsea forward was involved in an incident with Arsenal's Laurent Koscielny in the 43rd minute of the game.

"Arsenal defender Gabriel has been charged with improper conduct for his behaviour following his dismissal, whilst team-mate Santi Cazorla has been warned for his behaviour following his sending off.

"Finally, both clubs have been charged for failing to control their players under FA Rule E20." Costa, who risks a three-game suspension if found guilty, has until Tuesday to respond to his charge, while Gabriel and the two clubs have until Thursday.

Arsenal announced on Monday that they have made a claim for wrongful dismissal regarding Gabriel and are seeking to have his three-match ban overturned.

Costa twice appeared to strike Koscielny with his hand towards the end of the first half at Stamford Bridge and then became embroiled in an altercation with Gabriel, for which both players were booked.

Moments later, with Costa and Gabriel continuing to snipe at each other, the Arsenal defender flicked his heel towards the Chelsea striker and referee Mike Dean reacted by sending the Brazilian off.

The FA confirmed that Costa's clash with Koscielny had not been seen by Dean and had therefore been referred to a panel of three former elite referees, all of whom considered it a sending-off offence.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger strongly criticised Costa after the game and accused Dean of "naivety" and "weakness".

But Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said Costa, a Brazil-born Spain international, had been "fantastic" and declared him his man of the match.

Cazorla was sent off in the 78th minute after being shown a second yellow card for a foul on Cesc Fabregas.

Meanwhile, Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma said that his description of Costa as "a guy that likes to cheat" had been lost in translation.

Speaking after the Premier League game, Zouma told beIN Sports: "Everyone knows Diego and this guy likes to cheat a lot and put the opponents out of his game, and that happened in the game."

But in a statement on Twitter on Monday, the 20-year-old Frenchman said: "Sorry for any confusion, English is not my first language and I did not mean to accuse anyone of cheating.

"Simply to say Diego is a player who puts pressure on his opponents and who I have huge respect for."