LONDON • Diego Costa and Oscar had to be cooled down by some of their Chelsea team-mates after a flare-up during Thursday's training session at Cobham.
Costa had gone in hard on Oscar with a tackle and the midfielder responded with an extremely heavy one of his own that caused the pair to square up.
The session was highly charged, as the squad prepared for tomorrow's FA Cup third-round tie at home to Scunthorpe United and, briefly, it looked as though Costa and Oscar were ready to trade punches. But the swift intervention of team-mates who were close to the flashpoint stopped things from escalating.
Guus Hiddink, the interim manager, was laid-back about the incident, having seen this kind of thing many times over his long career and it was laughed off afterwards, with both the Brazil-born players making their peace.
Oscar later went on Twitter to play down the incident, saying the pair had not come to blows. "For those who are talking to me and @diegocosta struggle today in training he's lying, he's one of my best friends and never fight," wrote the 24-year-old.
Costa and Oscar have endured poor seasons but they have shown signs of better form since Hiddink took over last month, reinforcing the feeling that their relationships with former manager Jose Mourinho had broken down.
Both of them were prominent in last Sunday's 3-0 win at Crystal Palace, which was one of the club's best performances of the season.
Radamel Falcao was present at Cobham on Thursday after he flew back to his parent club, Monaco, earlier this week.
The on-loan Colombia striker returned to the principality for checks on his thigh injury at Monaco's training ground, before a potential permanent return to the club.
Falcao was hoping to resurrect his ailing career at Chelsea but, halfway through a season-long loan, he has scored only one goal.
The 29-year-old has not played since the end of October due to a thigh injury and he is expected to be out for at least another week because of it. He is open to cutting short his loan this month and returning to Monaco.
CHELSEA V SCUNTHORPE
Singtel TV Ch109, tomorrow, 9.55pm