FA Cup: Everton dispatch Chelsea on a Lukaku brace as Costa's troubles continue
Diego Costa plunged Chelsea into fresh controversy in its nightmare season on Saturday by seeing red as Everton ended the London team's last hope of a title in the FA Cup.
Chelsea had just been humiliated by former striker Romelu Lukaku scoring twice in five minutes, including a breathtaking solo goal, when Costa was sent off in the 84th minute of Everton's 2-0 win in the quarterfinals.
The fiery striker thrust his head at Gareth Barry, then sunk his teeth toward the Everton midfielder's neck in a biting motion, earning a second yellow card. There was no immediate reaction from Barry to suggest he had been bitten but Costa was dismissed for the first time in two seasons at Chelsea.
Everton also ended with 10 men after Barry himself was shown a second yellow card three minutes later for catching Cesc Fabregas.
The FA Cup exit followed Chelsea being eliminated from the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday.
Any hopes of defending the Premier League trophy were extinguished long ago, with Chelsea currently 10th and highly likely to miss out on European football next season.
Manchester City doesn't look like it will be succeeding Chelsea as Premier League champions after being held 0-0 at Norwich on Saturday to stay fourth, nine points behind surprise leader Leicester.
The late dismissals at Goodison Park overshadowed Lukaku's superb goals which left Chelsea to rue offloading the Belgium striker in 2014, having spent most of his career on loan away from Stamford Bridge.
Lukaku's first goal came in the 77th minute after Ross Barkley slipped the ball through to him on the left wing. Lukaku slalomed past two players before cutting inside past defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Branislav Ivanovic and striking low past compatriot Thibaut Courtois.
The Belgium goalkeeper was beaten again in the 82nd when Lukaku put the ball through his legs.
So, unlike in 2009, Guus Hiddink will not be ending this interim spell as Chelsea manager by lifting the FA Cup.
And Jose Mourinho's permanent successor will have to rebuild the squad by attracting players to a team likely out of Europe. At the same time, Chelsea is still dealing with the legal fallout from Mourinho's rift with its former team doctor on the opening day of the season as Eva Carneiro's constructive dismissal case heads to a public tribunal hearing.