The well-oiled Chelsea machine came to a screeching halt Wednesday night at White Hart Lane, losing to Spurs in the first game of a new calendar year just like the last time we won the Premier League title. In a few months, this might all be an amusing footnote. Or, in the darkest timeline, it could be the reverse-Arsenal loss. And in that case, fingers will surely be pointed at the little flashpoint between Diego Costa and Pedro in the first half. We should've seen it coming, the return, with a vengeance, of palpable discord!
I daresay if you ever played a team sport, such incidents will be familiar to you first-hand. Obviously, it's not the best look, two teammates having a disagreement on the pitch, but it's generally not the sign of an impending apocalypse either. It's something usually worked out behind the scenes, or in this case, on the pitch with a few words and a low-five.
"Nothing happened. We have a great understanding with each other. When you have a trusted relationship and intimacy with a teammate it is normal for these things to happen. It was just a moment during the game, and that's it. It was nothing. I told him: 'You have to get in there, why didn't you go?' He said 'I went' and I said he didn't. That's it. Pedro is my brother and we love each other."
-Diego Costa; source: IB Times UK
Pundits and announcers gleefully latched on to it at the time -- led by supposed former highly experiences professional player Phil Neville during NBC's telecast -- but just like Costa's supposed tiff with Conte a few months ago, it'll most likely turn out to be much ado about nothing*. Costa expected Pedro to do something, which Pedro didn't. Next time, he probably will. Costa's reaction may have been over the top, but they're both big boys and we can trust that they'll work it out between themselves.
* Same goes for Alexis Sanchez's on-pitch reactions in Arsenal draw at Bournemouth, though the reports of him ignoring and not talking to his teammates afterwards could actually be concerning. And by concerning, I mean time to let him know that a cheeky bid's incoming.