Roberto Martínez has accused Diego Costa of taunting Séamus Coleman about his own goal during Everton’s 6-3 defeat, saying Chelsea’s new striker needs “to understand the ethics” of the Premier League.
Martínez was responding to comments from José Mourinho that Everton’s players had deliberately set out to “chase cards” to get his £32m signing in trouble on the day the former Atlético Madrid player scored twice for his new club.
The Everton manager said he was disappointed with Mourinho’s remarks and that Costa should be looking at his own behaviour before Chelsea complained about others.
“I think there are certain foreign players who, when they come to the Premier League, they need to understand the ethics,” he said. “It is a completely different culture and the last thing you want to be is disrespectful from a player to another player, even if he is on the opposing team. I am sure he will learn that very quickly. The last thing I would do myself is fall into a trap and be disrespectful that way.”
Martínez confirmed he was talking about Costa’s reaction to Coleman’s own goal when Chelsea took a 3-1 lead and something was said that was provocative enough for Tim Howard to run out of his goal to confront the Spain forward. Costa had been booked for repeatedly tangling with Coleman earlier in the second half and Howard was also shown a yellow card.
“That is something I am sure he [Costa] will learn quickly,” Martínez said, in response to questions about the own goal. “There is a real respect in the league and you can understand why the players weren’t happy with that, the same way he was trying to win free-kicks with the way he was playing. It is going to take a little bit of time to understand this league is quite different and unique and it needs players to adapt to it rather than the league adapting to them.”
Mourinho’s version of events was quite different, alleging that Everton’s players had deliberately targeted Costa to provoke him into a row. “The only thing I didn’t like from this game, apart from our defending, was that some Everton players were trying to create problems for Diego,” the Chelsea manager said. “I don’t think this is English football. It’s also a contradiction for Everton because everything they normally do is good and positive. To be chasing yellow cards for a player of good behaviour, that is disappointing.
“Diego is maybe the best player in the Premier League in the first three matches but he now has two yellow cards. One against Burnley when he didn’t simulate and it was a clear penalty, and today everybody was chasing cards to try to get him in trouble.”
Informed of those comments, Martínez said: “I’m disappointed if a manager has won a game away from home and complained about our attitude.”