‘Villainous’ Diego Costa not to blame for Arsenal defeat, claims Gunners legend

first_imgArsenal legend Liam Brady has called Chelsea striker Diego Costa ‘a villain’, but concedes the Spanish hitman was not to blame for the Gunners’ 1-0 defeat on Sunday.The Blues made it nine games without defeat against Arsene Wenger’s men as Costa’s first-half goal claimed victory over the Gunners, who played more than 70 minutes with ten men after Per Mertesacker was sent off after an early tangle with the striker.Costa was at the centre of controversy the last time the two Premier League giants clashed in September, as Arsenal ending the Stamford Bridge encounter with nine men largely thanks to the forward’s theatrics with Chelsea winning 2-0.Gunners boss Wenger has again accused the former Atletico Madrid man of deliberately getting one of men sent off, after Mertesacker was shown red for a last-man challenge, though replays showed contact between the pair was minimal.But former midfielder Brady believes the call from referee Mark Clattenburg was the correct one.“Diego Costa was without a doubt the villain of the game at Stamford Bridge, but I don’t think you can blame too much on him yesterday,” he told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“It was a sending off, Costa was through on goal. If Mertesacker watches that again I think he’d feel he should have let Costa take his chance and let him go on goal. He had Petr Cech to beat and Koscielney would have put him under all sorts of pressure and he might not have scored.“With 11 men we could have won the game. The team played well in spells and with ten men we had a few great chances to score and get the draw.”The defeat meant Arsenal missed the chance to climb above Leicester City to the top of the Premier League standings, after the Foxes beat Stoke on Saturday to go three points clear at the summit.The Gunners remain tied on points [44] with second place Manchester City, while fierce rivals Tottenham are only two points behind in fourth, but Brady believes Wenger’s men still have a great chance to end their wait for a Premier League title.“If you look at the table, it looks like the title race is between four teams – the current top four,” he added.“If Arsenal can stay around the top for the next five or six weeks, get good results against Leicester, Spurs and Manchester United and win against the other teams, then I think we’re in with a great chance of winning the title this year.”last_img

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