A London derby is always a feisty affair; with a long and bitter rivalry between the two clubs and plenty of festering enmity between the fans, the players can’t help but be caught up in the heady atmosphere of mutual dislike. Accordingly, the fixture has seen plenty of furious fights down the years.
Not least the scrap between Diego Costa and Gabriel Paulista earlier this season.
The dust up between Diego and Gabriel caused great controversy, naturally. Having wound up his opponent in fairly robust fashion, Costa engineered a red card for the Brazilian defender and The Blues went on to win 2-0. Arsenal fans were, of course, livid. Now, with the reverse fixture looming, many are wondering whether Costa will be up to his old tricks once more.
To be fair on Costa, his fight with Gabriel wasn’t his best (or worst?) effort. In his time in the Premier League, the controversial striker has scrapped with a huge number of players (including his own teammates). Throw in the odd bout of squaring up to the referee, and you’ve got a real medley of Costa-related tiffs.
In celebration (or censure?) of Diego’s incessant acts of shoulder barging, forehead jousting and chest puffing, we’ve cast our minds back over his most ridiculous fights as a Chelsea player.
We’ve come up with a full 27 (plus bonuses) – without further ado, here they are in all their macho glory.
Costa vs Gabriel
Arsenal fans will never forget, Diego.
Costa vs David Luiz
Costa and David Luiz lashed out at each other over both legs of PSG’s Champions League Round of 16 clash with Chelsea last year.
Luckily for David, his vast helmet of hair protects him for all forms of physical violence.
Costa vs Jamie Vardy
Reuters / Andrew Yates
Costa and Vardy squared up during Chelsea’s visit to the King Power Stadium back in December.
Consequently, Chelsea “got banged”.
Costa vs Gareth McAuley
Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine
When a player as inoffensive as Gareth McAuley makes you boil with rage, you know you have some major anger issues.
Costa vs Steven Gerrard
Stevie G wasn’t having any of Costa’s antics during the League Cup semi-final between Chelsea and Liverpool back in January of last year – in fact, things almost exploded into a full-blown melee during the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Not the only Costa-led quarrel from this fixture. More to come.
Costa vs Bryan Oviedo
Reuters / Stefan Wermuth
“Grrr, Bryan Oviedo with his smiley face and nice hair”.
Costa vs Pablo Zabaleta
It takes a brave man to go toe-to-toe with Pablo.
Or a foolish one.
Costa vs Ryan Shawcross
Part of a running battle between the two earlier in the season.
Was quickly followed by Costa’s infamous “Eww, you smell” gesture – one which Shawcross laughed off in style .
Costa vs Guram Kashia
VI Images via Getty
Costa and Vitesse Arnhem star Guram Kashia were grappling with each other before this season had even begun.
Pre-season friendly? Diego has never heard of such a thing.
Costa vs Martin Skrtel
Back to that League Cup semi-final, then.
This was preceded by a rather nasty diving stamp on the Liverpool defender – again, Costa was lucky not to see red.
Costa vs Boaz Myhill
Action Images via Reuters / John Sibley
Boaz Myhill is probably one of the most harmless men in the Premier League.
This fight should only serve as proof that Costa will brawl with literally anyone.