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English Premiership

Costa targetted by refs Mourinho claims

COSTA-VILLALONDON, December 15- Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Diego Costa’s perceived trouble-maker image has made him a target of Premier League referees following yet another booking on Saturday.

The Brazilian has been shown no fewer than seven yellow cards in his 13 top-flight matches this term, with the latest coming for simulation during this past weekend’s 2-0 win over Hull City.

Replays showed the Spain international had not actually dived, and Mourinho feels that perfectly underlines the fact the forward is a victim of an unwarranted reputation amongst England’s match officials.

“I can’t believe it,” the Chelsea boss said. “I can’t believe it. I remember two (bookings) that are understandable and fair.

“One was against Newcastle because he complained with the referee with arms in the air in body language that was not accepted normally by the referees and (Martin) Atkinson gave him the yellow card.

“And the other one in Liverpool, when there was a really aggressive duel with (Martin) Skrtel – you know, fighting in a yellow card way.

“All the others, the first one at Burnley is a penalty and a red card for the keeper and he gets a yellow card.

“Other times, it is not a simulation and they give him a yellow card. Other times he touches one guy and it is a yellow card.

“Everything he does is a yellow card, so he does nothing for a red card, he does nothing, really.

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“For me, the normal situation would be now to be on the second, maximum third yellow card. But seven yellow cards – it looks like everybody comes ready for him, which I don’t understand.”

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