Diego Costa branded a cheat

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Diego Costa is a ‘serial cheat’ who deliberately got Per Mertesacker sent off during Arsenal’s 1-0 Premier League defeat to Chelsea on Sunday.

That is the view of the former Arsenal chairman, Peter Hill-Wood, who said he was disgusted with the striker’s theatrical reaction to Mertesacker’s first-half challenge at the Emirates.

Mertesacker was shown a straight red card for his 18th-minute tackle, with Costa going to ground under minimal contact – and the Spaniard went on to score the winner five minutes later.

“He is a serial cheat and he gets away with it,” Hill-Wood told the Star. “I think he deliberately ran in front of Mertesacker, who hardly touched him. Yet Costa rolls around as if his legs have been cut off. Once the red card’s been shown, he’s suddenly perfectly all right again.

“That’s because there’s absolutely nothing wrong with him. There certainly wasn’t soon after when he scored that goal. Personally I think the referee should have sent him off for diving. It’s very annoying because to me it is blatant.”

Costa also got Arsenal defender Gabriel sent off during Chelsea’s 1-0 win over Arsenal at Stamford Bridge earlier in the season.