London, Sep 12 (IANS) Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte has begged English football referees to give striker Diego Costa more protection after the Spaniard was booked for a foul in the English Premier League (EPL) game which ended in a 2-2 draw on Sunday.
Apart from a stab on Swansea’s Leroy Fer, Costa was also involved in all three of Swansea’s yellow cards.
Costa scored both of Chelsea’s goals to earn them a hard-fought point and was involved in a string of run-ins with Swansea defenders.
His claim of being pushed over by City keeper Lukasz Fabianski went unheeded by referee Andre Marriner.
But Conte reckons his star forward is a marked man. “Defenders know him and, sometimes, try to provoke him. I was a footballer and this situation is normal,” Conte said, according to his club’s website.
“You know that Diego is a player with passion. The referee must see and allow Diego Costa to play his football.”
Conte continued: “Diego Costa had fantastic behaviour to control the situation. He took a lot of kicks from the first minute until the end of the game.”