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Gabriel Paulista's red card overturned, three match ban withdrawn

Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

I think most folks expected Chelsea forward Diego Costa to be charged with violent conduct following Saturday's clash with Arsenal, joining Gunners' defender Gabriel Paulista on the suspended list for the next three matches. Not many likely expected to see Gabriel's red card overturned, however, which is exactly what the FA decided to do on Tuesday.

Frankly, I'm astonished that the FA has decided to overturn such an obviously correct call, even given their track record of mind boggling and inconsistent decisions. Whether or not you believe Costa should have been sent off or not, there was little question that Paulista deserved to see red after kicking out at the player in retaliation. Yes, he was certainly provoked, but his sending off was certainly justified by the laws of the game.

Gabriel will still have to deal with his charge of improper conduct for his actions after the sending off, but will be free to face Tottenham Hotspur while waiting to appeal. Regardless of the FA's mind-boggling inconsistency, however, Chelsea fans should probably still feel like they came out on top of this one, as Arsenal looked more toothless than usual following the sending off, and the Blues have a pair of solid options to replace Costa in the three matches he's likely to miss.

I wonder what Ashley Cole has to say about this...

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