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Super Eagles midfielder John Obi Mikel who has become one of Chelsea’s bench warmer couldn’t help but laugh at Spanish forward Diego Costa who was denied playing time in Sunday’s goalless draw against Tottenham after spending minutes on the sideline warming up.
Costa was dropped after netting just one goal in his last eight Chelsea matches and reacted angrily by tossing his substitute’s bib at Mourinho to the amusement of the Nigerian international.
As the Blues produced what Mourinho labeled “their best performance of the season” in gaining a valuable point, the focus remained on Costa, who did not warm up with the rest of the Chelsea substitutes before kick-off instead, the former Atletico Madrid striker was first out of the dressing room and sat on his own on the team bus according to report.
The incident came after the out-of-form Costa had a row with Mourinho in the Champions League win at Maccabi Tel Aviv in midweek and was then told he had to read the game better.
Meanwhile, the Blues head coach in an interview on BBC Sports defended his decision to name the Spaniard as a substitute for Sunday’s goalless draw despite the striker scoring the winner against Norwich last weekend, insisting there is “no issue” with Costa.
“For me his behaviour is normal. A top player on the bench will not be happy. If he wants to hurt me it would not be with a bib. I have a good relationship with him.”
“I think Diego is very privileged,” he said. “He is the last player to be on the bench. Everyone has been on the bench – the captain [John] Terry, [Branislav] Ivanovic, [Gary] Cahill, [Cesc] Fabregas, Pedro and player of the season [Eden] Hazard.
“Diego is privileged to have been kept in the team for all these matches and today we thought our best strategy was to play with this. I am happy with my decision and the players. Today Eden could play the 90 minutes and was so good and dangerous for us, I felt he could have scored a goal.
“Diego is physically fine, no problems,” he said. “He works well, every day his mood is positive, he is the positive guy in the team.
“I do not expect to have a player on the bench jumping and shouting because he is not playing.”