Mourinho defends Costa

Chelsea F.C. manager Jose Mourinho has, yet again, jumped to the defence of controversial figure Diego Costa by claiming the striker is portrayed unfairly in the media.

The Spain international, 27, was banned for three matches by the Football Association after a skirmish with Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny last month, but the 27-year-old returned to the Blues’ first-team  to play a starring role in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa.

Costa, who joined Chelsea from Atletico Madrid for a fee of £32 million in the summer of 2014, opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge and had a shot deflected in for an Alan Hutton own-goal to seal the points for the reigning English Premier League champions.

But the match did not end without Costa getting ‘into it’ with Villa midfielder Ashley Westwood.

“I’m pleased he didn’t react, but I would be even happier if the people who find his hypothetical or real negative moments were honest the other way and show and show and show,” Mourinho said. “He will be targeted until the moment people point the finger at them and show the images, re-show the images and have the top pundits speaking about it.

“When you lose him we’re a bit in trouble because the team always depends on a striker like him, from a character and personality like him. Diego isn’t a leader in the dressing room, he doesn’t even speak English well, but in the game, the way he plays, the way he gives his body to the cause is brilliant.”

Costa, priced at 20/1 to be the top goal-scorer in the Premier League in 2015/16, has scored two goals in seven league appearances for the Blues this season.

Mitrovic praises four-goal Wijnaldum

Newcastle United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic heaped praise on team-mate Georginio Wijnaldum following the Holland international’s four-goal performance against Norwich City on Sunday.


“Gini [Wijnaldum] showed a bit of magic today. He will score more goals. I am pleased for him,” the striker told Sky Sports. “I enjoyed the goal a lot. We played the perfect game. After a few bad games we showed how to play football.

“I am very happy here and hope I will score more goals for Newcastle. From Tuesday onwards we will get ready for Sunderland – I hope we will play like this.”

Wijnaldum has now bagged six goals and one assist in nine league matches for the Magpies this term.

Newcastle are priced at 6/4 to suffer relegation to the Sky Bet Championship in 2015/16.

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