Costa Incurs Wrath of Mourinho as Chelsea Hit Stride

Published: 25th November 2015 07:59 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th November 2015 07:59 AM   |  A+A-

Jose Mourinho and Diego Costa were involved in an angry row during Chelsea's comfortable Champions League victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv in which the manager was also forced to play groundsman.

Goals from Gary Cahill, Willian, Oscar and substitute Kurt Zouma handed Chelsea a vital win against 10-man Tel Aviv, who had former Blues defender Tal Ben Haim sent off for a foul on Costa.

But Dynamo Kiev's shock victory in Porto means Chelsea have not yet qualified for the knockout stage of the competition, despite moving to the top of Group G.

Mourinho clashed with Costa shortly before half-time in Israel -after the striker had failed to get on the end of an Eden Hazard cross into the six-yard box.

The Portuguese screamed his frustration at Costa, who gave as good as he got and refused the -attempts of Oscar to calm him down. Other than falling out with Costa, Mourinho also displayed his displeasure at the appalling Sammy Ofer Stadium pitch in Haifa as he replaced divots and stamped down the turf after Cahill's opening goal.

This was Chelsea's first trip to -Israel for 14 years, when six first-team players pulled out over security fears following the 9/11 -attacks in America.

Despite the continuing unrest in Israel and the terrorist attacks in Paris, Mourinho had no such -problems to contend with this time and had virtually a full squad to pick from, with one eye also on Sunday's trip to face Tottenham Hotspur. Mourinho made four changes from the Chelsea side that defeated Norwich City, with Cesar Azpilicueta, Cahill and Baba -Rahman all coming back into -defence and Oscar replacing Pedro Rodriguez.

The decision to bring back Oscar meant that Hazard, who had -improved in the number 10 role, moved back out to the left where Mourinho still feels he is best.

Chelsea were hunting their first victory away from home in the Champions League for a year. The Blues' last success on the road in Europe had come at Schalke, where they won 5-0 last season, and -Mourinho was hoping for a similarly dominant display in Israel.

The Portuguese criticised the pitch in Haifa ahead of kick-off and it was immediately noticeable from the stands that large parts of the surface had already cut up.

Maccabi Tel Aviv immediately found their feet on the pitch and should really have taken the lead in just the second minute. Ben Haim found Dor Peretz unmarked in the penalty area, but the midfielder headed the cross wastefully over the bar - much to the relief of Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.

The surface quickly got even worse, with one large hole appearing near Mourinho's technical area and what looked like several mole hills also being created by divots being taken out of the surface.

Despite the difficult conditions, Chelsea provided two moments of quality from which they almost opened the scoring as Oscar back-heeled the ball into the path of Azpilcueta and the defender curled a shot just wide. Cesc Fabregas then saw a wonderful chip fall just over the crossbar.

It did not take long for Chelsea to take the lead, however, as Cahill got the better of the bumpy pitch and Tel Aviv keeper Predrag Rajkovic in the 21st minute.

Rajkovic made a brilliant save to tip the central defender's header from Willian's corner on to the post, but Cahill reacted quickest to then poke the rebound into the net.

Rather than celebrating, Mourinho took the opportunity of a break in play to walk on to the pitch and replace all the divots he could -before the match restarted.

Although they remained just one goal up at the break, Chelsea's task was made easier when their former defender Ben Haim was red carded shortly before half-time for a wild kick on Diego Costa. Ben Haim seemed shocked that he was sent off by Spanish referee Alberto -Undiano Mallenco, but it was a -stupid and vicious challenge.

There was another flashpoint on the stroke of half-time, as Mourinho was involved in an on-pitch bust-up with Costa. Mourinho was furious that Costa had not tried to get on the end of Hazard's cross into the six-yard box and shouted and -pointed at the Spain international. Costa responded by shouting back and waving his arms and rejected the attempts of Oscar to calm him as he stormed down the tunnel.

The latest clash came after Mourinho had mimed to Costa how to tap the ball into the net from close range against Norwich after last season's top scorer had once again failed to get on the end of a cross.

While Mourinho and Costa no doubt exchanged words inside the dressing room, the striker reappeared for the second period and was quickly upsetting people again as he clashed with home defender Eli Dasa.

Mourinho made his first change with just over 20 minutes remaining, but it was Hazard, rather than Costa, who was taken off and replaced by Pedro.

John Terry was then forced off on a stretcher after suffering an -injury to his right leg, with Kurt Zouma taking over. Chelsea cruised through the final stages thanks to a Willian free-kick, his sixth goal from set pieces this season, Oscar's header from Rahman's cross and Zouma's stoppage-time header.


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