Everton cool Costa bite controversy

by | 12/03/2016  51 Comments  [Jump to last]

Stills from the BBC broadcast show Costa pushing his face into Barry's and then appearing to bite his neck
Gareth Barry has played down the incident with Diego Costa that led to the fiery striker being sent off in today's FA Cup Sixth Round tie at Goodison Park.

Television cameras captured the moment where the two players literally went head-to-head with each other late in Everton's stirring 2-0 victory as Costa, already on a yellow card for catching Barry in the first half, pushed his head into the veteran midfielder's face and then put his mouth on his neck.

That has led to fevered speculation that the Spanish international attempted a Luis Suarez-style bite, the like of which eventually led to a lengthy ban for the former Liverpool striker, but Roberto Martinez explained that Barry says there was very little to the incident.

"Gareth Barry said 'It's nothing to be worried about, I'm just disappointed to get a second yellow card'," claimed the Martinez said after the game.

"It wasn't a key moment in the game and I don't think we should focus on [it].

"It is a game full of emotions and there were two sending-offs, the referee played a very good game."

Barry was dismissed for a second yellow card himself three minutes after Costa received his marching orders from referee Michael Oliver and will now serve a two-match ban due to it being his second red card of the season.

Though he admitted to not having yet seen the incident, Chelsea boss, Guus Hiddink, tried to suggest that the testy striker had been goaded into his reaction by Everton's harassment of him throughout the game.

"I haven't seen it on TV - and then I will give a fair comment," the Dutchman said after seeing his team eliminated from a second cup competition this week. "Everton were going after him all game."

Martinez laughed off his opposite number's comments, suggesting that Hiddink was merely putting on his own spin and interpretation of the game:

"My interpretation of the game was two teams who matched each other well and I didn't think any of my players fell into losing their focus on what we had to do."  

Reader Comments (51)

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Mark Hughes
1 Posted 12/03/2016 at 22:27:55
Well played, Gareth Barry... Strong hard game and no complaining about Costa. Leave the whingeing to other sides.

England and Everton – Great Day's Sport.

Brian Williams
2 Posted 12/03/2016 at 22:33:11
He bit him alright and then realised what he'd done and shit himself.

Typical of Everton or an Everton player to play it down. When will Chelsea, and others like them, realize You CAN'T buy class!

Colin Glassar
3 Posted 12/03/2016 at 22:38:12
He didn't bite him Brian, if he did Barry would've pulled away and grimaced at the very least. He probably thought of biting him but gave him a love bite (hickey to our American cousins) instead but kudos to Barry, another player would've dropped to the floor like a big sissy.
Shane Corcoran
4 Posted 12/03/2016 at 22:41:45
I'd agree with Colin. I'd say he just about managed to not do it.

When he was going in with the mouth though it didn't look good.

Fair play to Barry.
Len Gowing
5 Posted 12/03/2016 at 22:43:44
Indeed Colin, if it was the reverse of what happened and it was Barry nuzzling Costa, then Diego would have been rolling around on the floor like he'd been shot.
Colin Glassar
6 Posted 12/03/2016 at 22:49:36
Does Barry's red card means he misses the semi-final? It was a stupid card to pick up.
Brian Williams
7 Posted 12/03/2016 at 22:52:36
They make a lovely couple mind... but they should keep that sort of stuff behind closed doors. :-)
Liam Reilly
8 Posted 12/03/2016 at 22:53:40
Silly getting sent off but Barry is one hard Bastard.
We need that steel.
Liam Reilly
9 Posted 12/03/2016 at 22:55:10
And no, he doesn't miss the semi, he misses next week against the Arse, Colin.
Tim Kells
10 Posted 12/03/2016 at 22:56:02
Hi Colin. No mate. It's an immediate one match suspension. Stupid to pick up though.
Sharabi Singh
11 Posted 12/03/2016 at 22:56:06
Colin, I think Barry will miss the games against Arsenal and Man Utd.

It wasn't a bite. He gestured to bite and then closed his mouth. Looked quite lovey dovey towards the end. Definitely a booking for squaring up though so had to go.

What was Barry doing anyway for his 2nd? Very stupid. He's had that many cards now surely he must know what constitutes getting a card.
Anthony Burke
12 Posted 12/03/2016 at 22:59:18
Barry has been immense this season but I don't think he misses the semi.

Time to give Besic a run in the side.

Colin Glassar
13 Posted 12/03/2016 at 23:04:24
As Capt Mainwaring would say, "you stupid boy". Silly decision by Barry when it was totally unnecessary.

It'll give Mo a chance to shine then, I suppose.

Lyndon Lloyd
14 Posted 12/03/2016 at 23:07:58
It's his second red of the season so, like Mirallas, it'll be a two-match ban and he'll miss the Arsenal and Man United games.
Tony Hill
16 Posted 12/03/2016 at 23:22:37
Barry has been superb this season and the club's reaction to Costa's nonsense is exemplary.
Dave Bowen
17 Posted 12/03/2016 at 23:29:06
Only caught the 2nd half. Why doesn't Rom hold the ball up like that every week?

Barry's problem is the 2nd yellow was against Fabregas who we all know has previous for this (ask Arteta). However like Mirallas last week, if you are on a yellow, you don't jump in. End of.

Tony Doran
18 Posted 12/03/2016 at 23:32:33
Barry gets penalised for first yellow by not going down like Costa would have done.
Kieran Kinsella
19 Posted 12/03/2016 at 23:33:23
I think he squared up, realized he's get a second yellow then kind of buried his face in Barry's chest thinking "bollocks I'm going to get a red. Maybe if I hug him the ref will let it pass." Barry was probably thinking the same so obliged with the hug. Didn't work out for either.
Anthony Dwyer
20 Posted 12/03/2016 at 23:36:48
A big FA Cup Quarter-final, some tough tackles an two sending offs, not really all that strange. Barry was a little bit silly getting booked the way he did, especially as Chelsea were done.

That said, I think Chelsea set up to ruin the game, play acting over every decision, and Costa had lost his head almost from the start. Costa should have received an extra yellow card for his diving, but escaped a lot.

His eventual red card seemed inevitable, but I don't think he bit Barry. Come on, let's be honest, if so someone bites you, there is a certain type of reaction, Barry did not react that way.

Alan Helbert
22 Posted 12/03/2016 at 23:40:08
By getting booked today, Barry basically clears himself to play in the semi and final now, the 10 bookings and then clear rule doesn't he?
Phil Sammon
23 Posted 13/03/2016 at 00:32:17
He didn't bite him. He seriously thought about it but pulled out at the last minute.

I like Costa. He won me £360 when he fired Atletico to the la liga title. He's a terrible sport mind you...a cheat, you might say.

Dennis Ng
24 Posted 13/03/2016 at 01:39:07
That's not a bite, still a cardable offence because of dissent.
Mark Andersson
25 Posted 13/03/2016 at 01:51:38
Have they kissed and made up then.

Great game brilliant atmosphere well done Rom, his first touch has improved, about time.

Ross was a bit quiet for most of the game don't think he will ever be the player we want him to be.

Matt Traynor
26 Posted 13/03/2016 at 02:01:16
On 606 on 5 Live an RS fan phoned in and was outraged by it, drawing parallels to the Suarez incidents and demanding action. They really have no shame.

Still hard to believe that was Costa's first sending off in a Chelsea shirt.

Dennis Ng
27 Posted 13/03/2016 at 02:05:55
Oh Matt, you've not seen his dark arts before have you? He is the grand master, much better than many more before him. It's always his victims that gets red. Not the other way round.

And those rs fans, they are so lame, why bother? I just hope Real Madrid tries to hire Klopp next season.

Nicholas Ryan
28 Posted 13/03/2016 at 02:22:55
Forget Costa v Barry, that's neither here nor there .... what is much more important, is Costa v Referee.

just look at what happens after he's shown the Red. He puts his head right into the Ref's face, and the Referee, has to step away quickly. If he hadn't Costa would have 'chinned' him.

To me that is far more serious than the 'Handbags of Dracula' incident!

Martin Lewis
29 Posted 13/03/2016 at 07:59:58
Is it just me or did Costa butt Barry first in any case. Surely a red on its own merits. I can see why the blues would like to play this down however. Surely after the flack Bobby gets on this site, he's entitled to a day of glory.

Good performance today, let's remember for Lukaku's brilliant goal – I for one was screaming at the TV as I thought the pass had put him in a hopeless position. Bring on Watford in the final!

Steve Pugh
30 Posted 13/03/2016 at 08:01:42
One thing that interested me was Costa's reaction when he had the clash of heads with Seamus. Normally when you see him have a coming together he rolls around trying to get something out of the ref. This time he jumped up and went over to Seamus showing concern for the Irishman. It took Jimmy Mac pointing it out for him to realise that he himself was bleeding.

It does show that most of what he does on the pitch is calculated play acting but there is a decent(ish) bloke inside.

Anthony Hawkins
31 Posted 13/03/2016 at 08:06:14
I wonder what Costa wispered in Barry's ear?
Thomas Surgenor
32 Posted 13/03/2016 at 08:31:33
Barry was superb, as were others, in winding Costa up. I don't know why we don't play that side of the game more often. The full blooded tackles got goodison rocking and the atmosphere seemed to ignite the players.

Ps: those who believe Barry was calculated enough to get Costa sent off, well.... Could he have been calculated enough to get that booking so he has a clear run for the semis? We all know he is good for a booking each game and would surely have picked up one against mancs or arse which would make him sit out the semi.

Jim Bennings
33 Posted 13/03/2016 at 09:24:35
Barry's second yellow was basically because Fabregas was breaking into space, it was a "take one for the team " booking.

It might have seemed silly but Fabregas made a meal of it (as he usually does).

Barry has been a linchpin and seems to be getting fitter and better with age, Totti, Pirlo, McAllister prime examples.

Mark Daley
34 Posted 13/03/2016 at 09:25:39
I thought RM's comments about this after the game were perfectly judged. They made me think back to his speech at Anfield a couple of years ago.
Shane Corcoran
35 Posted 13/03/2016 at 10:12:01
Yeah I think it should have been a straight red by today's standards for putting the head in.

By my standards I'd have been happy with no cards.

Si Turner
36 Posted 13/03/2016 at 10:37:16
The cynic in me makes me think he picked the 2nd yellow up on purpose because of the following;

1 – He will now play in the semi final ( one more yellow was his 10th wasn't it which gives a 2-match ban);

2 – He will get a rest having played all season;

3 – McCarthy, Besic and Cleverley are all fit at the moment so we have plenty of cover;

4 – Most important of all, the game was wrapped up and we were going to Wembley anyway.

I have to say that was one of the best atmospheres in the ground this season. The Street end was rocking!!!

I don't see how people can claim the game wasn't good but they won't ruin my memories of the game!

Finally, a great weekend to enjoy!!!

Vinny Garstrokes
37 Posted 13/03/2016 at 12:00:46
A special mention to Leighton from me, I thought he was immense and providing his ankle holds up, a shoo-in for the remainder of the season at the back.
Andy Meighan
39 Posted 13/03/2016 at 13:32:38
What a vile individual Costa is. What's all that aggression about – it's ridiculous seeing the bellend carrying on like that.

I've heard loads of people saying you'd love him in your team. I wouldn't. Who'd want to watch them theatrics and cheating tactics all the time? I'd hate it. It's downright embarrassing.

Kudos to Barry for playing it down but you'd expect that from an exemplary pro like him. I predicted a red card for him (Costa) after 15 minutes and it couldn't have happened to a nicer fella. The Toffees ended your season. Wembley for us!

Jamie Barlow
40 Posted 13/03/2016 at 13:43:47
Gareth Barry is a fantastic professional footballer. He puts many other players to shame with his attitude and puts everything into every game he plays. Rom might be getting all the plaudits but Barry has been the player of the season for me.
John Jones
41 Posted 13/03/2016 at 13:51:29
It most certainly was not a bit and have only got to praise the club and Barry in paticular for not making a meal out of it, the games won and we move on.

Look across the park however and Liverpool fans are falling ober themselves to see the incident through their usual rose tinted glasses and call blue murder and Costa should get what Suarez got.

Costa is a total disgrace and I hate the way he plays the game, but he shouldnt be punished anywhere near as much as Suarez was.

William Cartwright
42 Posted 13/03/2016 at 14:10:15
What a wonderful, professional performance from Barry, even before the conspiracy theorists logic that he needed a 2nd yellow to clear his rap sheet and have a break before the semi-final. Brilliant.

You have to admire Roberto's decision to offer him a 3-year contract. He deserves some real appreciation for that.

Kim Vivian
43 Posted 13/03/2016 at 14:43:20
Great to go to sleep and wake up with such a good feeling. Just brilliant. And Rom's not talking like a player wanting away. Onward and upward you Blues.

On a lighter note, I think we have about the coolest looking team, in the Premier League... A good looking bunch of dudes.

Which team do we think would win an Ugly Mugs league?

Bob Parrington
44 Posted 13/03/2016 at 16:05:22
The RS because I reckon you need a personality and a smile to look good.
Peter Cummings
45 Posted 13/03/2016 at 16:06:25
Have watched the incident in slow mo and I agree that there was no bite, in fact Barry fouled Costa who leapt up and went head to head with him and they both ended up 'hugging' so as much as I hate to admit it I don't think it was worth a red card but a good talking to by Oliver would have been enough,

What's the betting we get winner of the Mancs or Hammers next????

Chris Wilson
46 Posted 13/03/2016 at 16:31:23
I honestly think Costa's plan was to bait Barry into a reaction, but Barry didn't...bite (groan). But seriously, I think he was hoping Barry would react, then Costa would flop to the ground grabbing whatever; hoping Barry would be sent off.

Wonder if there were any odds on Costa biting somebody yesterday? I think a guy from Norway won a bet that Suarez would bite someone in the World Cup. The fact that there were odds on Suarez biting another person says it all really.

Don Alexander
47 Posted 14/03/2016 at 01:20:51
BK is still allegedly "at the helm" on behalf of Mr Moshiri, and please God our Incredible One has been told that two points a game and a Cup win, minimum, might preserve his job, but does anyone else think that GazBaz might be VERY high up on Mr Moshiri's "must retain" list? And I mean in an off the field role.
Dennis Ng
48 Posted 14/03/2016 at 02:31:04
Peter, going head first into another player is dissent. That's a yellow for sure. It's not a straight red, but that was his second yellow.

I hope we get Palace. They are still in their slump. Let Watford beat West Ham for us, then we might have easier pickings.

Eric Myles
49 Posted 14/03/2016 at 02:37:01
If it had been Barry squaring up to Costa you can bet Costa would have gone down clutching his head like he'd been butted, he always plays the victim.
Baz Daly
50 Posted 14/03/2016 at 09:43:33
Excellent management of Costa by us in my opinion. About time we showed a bit of guile in this regard, we can be a little too gentlemanly at times...

As Costa has demonstrated time and time again, he is a special case when it comes to gamesmanship, antagonizing and baiting....he is fair game in this league...and its all of his own doing...

On a side note....I especially enjoyed John Terry looking for offside for the 2nd goal...

Tony J Williams
51 Posted 14/03/2016 at 12:35:29
I lost count the number of times I shouted, "You horrible fucking Rat!" at Costa.

He is too concerned about his "hard man" image than trying to score.

Thought as soon as Barry got the yellow, he was looking for a second to make sure he could play in the semi. little kick out, nothing bad but the second yellow obtained.

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 14/03/2016 at 12:59:15
Chris 46, I think that's why Costa, then put his hands up to hug Barry. It was As if to say, you was too clever for me mate, I would have been rolling all over the floor there.

Horrible antics off Chelsea, but it's such a horrible part of the game, that it seems you have to lower yourself down too. It's a very sad fact, that all the major winning teams, share these antics, in one way or another.

Harold Matthews
53 Posted 15/03/2016 at 14:04:46
Barry, who had a mighty game, knew exactly what he was doing.
John Keating
54 Posted 15/03/2016 at 14:12:22
Costa is a coward. Quite happy to goad, niggle, foul the opposition but can't take it. He and the shithouse Club he plays for got everything they deserve. Barry played it perfectly.

I would imagine every half decent supporter the length and breadth of the Country are made up that the coward finally got caught out. How many times over the years have we seen Terry and his team in the face of the ref? They are as bad as our cousins.

I thought the referee was brilliant throughout.

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