Costa ban too harsh, says former England defender Neville

London, Sep 23 (IANS) Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has criticised the three-match ban imposed on Chelsea striker Diego Costa for his on-field antics during the English Premier League (EPL) clash with Arsenal last week.

Costa was involved in a number of confrontations with Arsenal players during Chelsea’s 2-0 victory at Stamford Bridge last Saturday, one of which led to the sending off of Gunners defender Gabriel Paulista.

Costa was also involved in an off the ball brawl with Laurent Koscielny, which prompted referee Mike Dean to show yellow cards to both players.

Although Costa escaped without a red card, the Football Association (FA) has banned the Brazilian for three matches for violent conduct. The ban covers Chelsea’s League Cup match at Walsall on Wednesday along with EPL matches against Newcastle and Southampton.

Neville however, feels that the FA has acted too harshly and took to social networking site Twitter to air his opinion.

“3 games for that. At worse it was two yellows 1 game. Violent? No way,” the 40-year-old tweeted on Wednesday.

The former England international also hit back at a Manchester United fan for arguing with him on Twitter.

“I’m embarrassed your a united fan with that stance having watched and admired the players we’ve had over the years,” Neville wrote on his Twitter handle.

Costa’s ban is a huge blow for Chelsea, who have endured a poor start to their defence of their EPL title with three defeats in their first six matches. They are currently at a lowly 15th spot on the EPL table with a mere seven points, eight behind league leaders Manchester City.

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