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Referee right not to send Costa off – Conte

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Diego Costa

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says the referee “made the right decision” in taking no action against striker Diego Costa after his challenge on West Ham goalkeeper Adrian.

Costa, already booked, caught Adrian high on his shin in the second half.

Anthony Taylor did not produce a second yellow card and Costa went on to make it 2-1 to Chelsea in the 89th minute.

Conte said he “did not see” the tackle, adding: “I saw Costa put the pressure on the keeper and then try to stop.”

Chelsea led 1-0 when Costa made the challenge and even though James Collins equalised for West Ham, the Spain international settled the game with a low, 20-yard strike.

“It was not reckless or deliberate, but it was quite late,” said Hammers boss Slaven Bilic referring to the incident.

“He could have been booked again and so a red card. I am not frustrated because of that, I am frustrated because of the late goal.”

Referees have been instructed to book players who protest against decisions this season and Costa was initially cautioned for chasing Taylor following a penalty appeal.

“Diego is a good player and a passionate man – sometimes it happens that he can receive a yellow card,” Conte told Sky Sports.

“I think in the situation with Adriano the referee took the right decision.”

Adrian

Hammers sweat on Ayew injury

Collins’ goal was West Ham’s only shot on target and striker Andre Ayew, a £20m summer signing from Swansea, limping off in the first half is a concern for Bilic.

“We have to wait on Andre Ayew,” said the Croat, whose side travel to Romania on Thursday for the first leg of their Europa League qualifier against Astra Giurgiu.

“It is a thigh injury and we will find out after the scan on Tuesday.”

Andre Ayew

‘I don’t know if I’ll sleep tonight’

Conte has arrived at Chelsea with a reputation for being an expert tactician, as displayed by taking Italy to the European Championship quarter-finals, but also for being a passionate and animated character on the touchline.

The Italian lived up that billing by rushing towards fans to celebrate Costa’s winner.

“I knew the Premier League only through television. I played against English teams in the Champions League and Europa League, but playing this league is very difficult,” said the 47-year-old.

“There is a great intensity in the Premier League and it’s very physical. I don’t know if I’ll sleep tonight because the adrenaline is high.”

Antonio Conte

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