Antonio Conte shunned Diego Costa as the Chelsea striker asked to be taken off in their 3-0 defeat of Leicester in the Premier League on Saturday.
Costa had started the game on four yellow cards for the season, which meant he would have been suspended for the clash with Manchester United on October 23 if he had received another booking against the Premier League champions.
And with the Blues leading 3-0, Costa gestured angrily towards his manager that he wanted to be taken off 20 minutes before time to avoid a potential suspension, but Conte was having none of it – despite Costa holding his leg late on.
Explaining after the game, the Chelsea manager said: “I kept Costa on until the end of the game because he is an important player for us,” he was quoted by the Daily Mail.
“He has a good personality and he transfers that passion. We need that passion every moment of the game though I knew it was a risk because he if he took another yellow card, he misses the next match.
“I decide every substitution, me. Always I take the responsibility in a positive or negative situation.”
Costa’s goal after seven minutes was his seventh of the season and cemented his position at the top of the Premier League scoring charts. He has suffered from hamstring problems during his time at Chelsea.