Diego Costa
Diego Costa

Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes believes Diego Costa was targeted by Liverpool’s Martin Skrtel on Tuesday and says he has displayed admirable patience for often not reacting to rough treatment.
The Chelsea striker faces a disciplinary hearing on Friday after being charged with violent conduct by the Football Association for an alleged stamp on Liverpool’s Emre Can during the League Cup semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Costa was also embroiled in a separate stamping incident in the same game involving defender Martin Skrtel, but that altercation will not be examined any further by the FA.
Chelsea have appealed the charge, but the former Atletico Madrid forward faces a three-match suspension if found guilty, meaning he could miss crucial matches against Manchester City and Everton in the coming weeks.
But Scholes feels Costa has only reacted to provocation from opposing players and has shown great restraint in not lashing out more often given the abuse he receives on the pitch.
“As for Diego Costa, I see it differently to the rest,” he wrote in his London Evening Standard column.
“I thought his actions were at the lower end of the scale of dangerous and that he was under extreme provocation from Martin Skrtel, who has wound him up before this season.