After a summer of controversy has seen Diego Costa return to goal scoring ways with four goals in four games so far this season, Antonio Conte lavished praise on the Spanish striker after his brace this weekend. Speaking after the draw at the Liberty Stadium, in which some claimed that the 27-year-old could have seen red for a number of incidents, Conte explained:
“He behaved fantastically well to control the situation because he took a lot of kicks from the first minute until the end… I think he gets targeted by defenders. They know him and sometimes they try to provoke him.”
However, whilst acknowledging criticism of Andre Marriner’s decision not to give a foul for a tackle on Gary Cahill in the build up to Swansea’s second goal, the Italian manager refused to be drawn into criticism, as he said:
“For the second goal I think everyone can see that tackle on Cahill and I think that there is a great mistake by the referee, but I also want to say that this can happen to one side or the other.”
That attitude marks a clear difference from former boss Jose Mourinho, and whilst Conte was infuriated with some of the defensive and refereeing errors on show on Sunday afternoon, he was clearly pleased by some aspects of his side’s performance, including Diego Costa’s display.
One of the biggest concerns to come from the draw was the ankle injury suffered by John Terry in the closing stages as he appeared to roll it. The Mirror report that he left the stadium on crutches and appeared to be in agony as he went down on the turf, but the extent of his injury remains unknown.
Whilst his manager stated that he was not “worried” by the extent of the injury, Terry returned to London for treatment on Sunday night to try to get the swelling on his ankle down, with tests expected to take place today to determine whether or not he will miss any of the upcoming fixtures as the Blues welcome Anfield on Friday night as they hope to maintain their unbeaten run, before facing away trips in the EFL Cup and the Premier League against reigning champions Leicester and Arsenal.
Serbian defender Branislav Ivanovic could be nearing the end of his spell at Stamford Bridge, if the Sun is to be believed. The 32-year-old is wanted by New York City and Los Angeles Galaxy, with his first team chances dwindling following the arrival of Marcos Alonso and David Luiz late in the transfer window, with Antonio Conte reportedly not convinced by his abilities.
With just one year left on his current deal in London, it would not be a surprise to see him leave in the summer, with a lucrative switch stateside likely to be an attractive option to the right back, who can also play in central defence, as he could team up with stars like Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo, David Villa or Steven Gerrard.
Featured Image: All rights reserved by Craig Ballantyne.