Chelsea fans were rightfully annoyed following yet more dropped points on Wednesday, a match in which Anthony Taylor allowed both sides to play very, very physically. Our players were also frustrated by Taylor's performance, especially Diego Costa who seemed on edge throughout the match, which Guus Hiddink addressed on Friday:
"This referee didn't want to send anyone off. The fourth official made a kind remark which unarmed me fully. I told him: 'This is one of the worst referees I have experienced in the Premier League' and he said to me 'no, no, you haven't seen me yet'. It was a beautiful remark."
"It was about the two yellow cards which were not given [to Claudio Yacob]. The second yellow to Diego was not there. I don't think there was a reason to send him off on Wednesday."
As one of England's sports media favorite 'villains', Costa's antics on the pitch almost always bring up the argument that he's being selfish, and putting himself at the risk of getting punished by the referee. But often, Diego doesn't act like that out of his own volition as he has to deal with constant bickering from the opposition, said Hiddink.
"He is playing on the edge but so are the opponents. They are provoking as well - you see little things, little touches on him so it is mutual. Nevertheless he should control himself - he didn't go out of order but he was on the edge both ways."
"They like to provoke him a little bit but he has to deal with that, and the referee has to deal with that as well. I will defend my players. Sometimes you don't have to say everything as a manager, because players are smart enough to do what they think they must do. I talk about this with him, not every day but this morning for a few minutes."
Another incident that marked our West Bromwich game was Costa's choice to vent his frustrations by punching the Stamford Bridge's tunnel wall that lead to the stadiums's dressing room. According to Hiddink, his attack on the club's property didn't cause that much damage.
"I did a lot of things before I got in to management and one of my previous jobs was as a plumber and a builder. I checked it out the day after and I didn't see anything, just some little scratches on the plastic wall. It was an expression of frustration, of not winning - no big deal."
In regards to player's performances, Cesc Fàbregas had a great night in the midfield last Wednesday, setting up chances and plays that could have Chelsea to their third win under Hiddink. His showing was praised by Guus Hiddink, who was glad to see him providing great passes from deep in the midfield.
"I am happy with the performance of Cesc. He is fit but also very fresh which is important when you are playing many games. He can play in different midfield positions - he can play advanced or drop back."
"I like to see him in a position where he can use the quality of the final pass. He has done that in several positions in midfield which is good to see. This team needs leaders in the vertical spine of the team. He can be and he is one of those key players now."
-Guus Hiddink; Source: Chelsea FC
Costa and Fàbregas were two of the most important players in our double-winning campaign last season, and in the current one their downfall in form might have been one of the major factors in our recent struggles. Both players getting back in form is certainly great news for the team, as there are still a lot to fight for ahead of the season not only in the Premier League but also in the FA Cup and in the Champions League.