MX23RW : Monday, December 10 11:33:35
Mar 18, 2017 at 3pm UK at ​bet365 Stadium
Attendance: 27,724
StokeStoke City
1-2
Chelsea
Walters (38' pen.)
Bardsley (95')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Willian (14'), Cahill (87')

Mark Hughes: 'Stoke City did not target Diego Costa'

Hughes: 'We did not target Diego Costa'
© SilverHub
Stoke manager Mark Hughes claims that Chelsea striker Diego Costa tried to antagonise his defenders rather than the other way round during their 2-1 defeat to the Blues.

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has denied that his players deliberately tried to antagonise Diego Costa during today's 2-1 defeat to Chelsea at the bet365 Stadium.

A number of Stoke's defenders - most notably Ryan Shawcross and Bruno Martins Indi - had run-ins with the Spain international, whose temperament has been called into question during his Chelsea career.

Costa picked up an early yellow card for dissent but was otherwise able to keep a lid on his emotions, although Hughes argued that it was the striker who targeted the defenders rather than the other way around.

"We didn't target him, more likely he targeted our players. I played in that position many years and I look at his qualities as a striker, he's an outstanding striker, but on occasions he's got elements of his play that he doesn't really need to have," he told reporters.

"You can still have an edge, an element where you can look after yourself, but you don't have to have the rest.

"I think it takes away from his performance and his image as a player, it's not necessary. Maybe that's how he generates his feeling in the game and when he's able to produce his best work. I think it detracts from what a good player he is."

Stoke's defeat leaves them still ninth in the Premier League table, but now seven points adrift of the top eight.


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Diego Costa celebrates scoring during the Premier League game between Chelsea and Stoke City on December 31, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton156542117423
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
13Watford156271821-320
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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