By now you’ve all heard about the altercation between Chelsea’s Diego Costa and Arsenal’s Gabriel during Saturday’s match that somehow resulted in Gabriel’s sending off and Costa walking away scot-free. Following the match, Arsenal appealed Gabriel’s red card and — shockingly — won the appeal. Even more so, the FA has now suspended Diego Costa three matches for “violent conduct.”
While at the end of the day the FA ended up getting this right, it’s too little too late from them.
True Arsenal won’t have to deal with having Gabriel suspended anymore, and Chelsea will now be without their only striker (forcing them to turn to Radamel Falcao). But all that doesn’t change what happened on Saturday. What was a very even match, perhaps maybe with Arsenal being the better team at time, changed completely when Mike Dean inexplicably sent off Gabriel and allowed Diego Costa to stay on the pitch. Arsenal were then forced to play the entire second half shorthanded and conceded an early goal. They’d later concede a second when they were trying to chase the game.
The FA may be thinking they’re correcting a wrong but that’s not enough in this situation. Anyone with eyes, other than of course Dean, could see that in that situation Costa should have been sent off. By my count, during the entire skirmish, Costa committed three different acts that should have been yellow cards and another one that should have been a straight red.
What Costa did on the field was ridiculous. Somehow, Dean didn’t think Costa should be sent off despite Costa giving Laurent Koscielny a forearm to the face then later coming off over and giving him a chest shove that knocked Koscielny to the ground. The Premier League itself should be ashamed that Dean even allowed the situation to progress that far.
Nevertheless, dropping Arsenal down completely changed the match, which ultimately led to Chelsea getting the win. Costa may rightfully be getting suspended for three matches, but that doesn’t change what happened this past Saturday, when a brutally wrong referee decision gifted Chelsea three points.
It may only be September but there’s no telling how big those three, or just one for a draw, points could have been for Arsenal. The Premier League has essentially admitted that they screwed up the entire situation, unfortunately for Arsenal it’s a little too little too late.