Chelsea’s Costa accuses referees of not protecting him from defenders

Chelsea striker Diego Costa appeals to the referee during the 3-2 win at Hull.

NIGEL RODDIS/AFP/Getty Images

Chelsea striker Diego Costa feels that he receives no protection in England, despite being "kicked all the time".

Costa has scored 19 goals in 23 Premier League games since his move from Atletico Madrid last summer, the joint leading scorer in the division with Harry Kane. He also scored in the Capital One Cup final as Chelsea won their first trophy since the return of Jose Mourinho.

However, despite his goalscoring record Costa has gained a reputation for his physicality, and was banned for stamping on the leg of Liverpool’s Emre Can earlier this season. 

The naturalised Spaniard believes that he is not protected by referees as he was in Spain, but admits that he has had to learn to curb his temper. 

"When I think about English defenders the word nobility doesn’t come to mind," Costa said. "They kick me all the time, just like they did in Spain.

"But I don’t complain. They go in hard on me, but over here the refs don’t give me free-kicks whereas they do in Spain.

"Some players try to put me out of the game. But I’m getting to control my temper better all the time, and I just set out to play my normal game.

"The Premier League is not over-rated. It is a tough league, with huge teams, and the small sides can beat you."