Asked on German TV whether or not English fans showed a resilience against diving and cheating in the game, Per Mertesacker had some scathing words for Chelsea supporters.
Stamford Bridge san Diego Costa’s name and gave him a standing ovation on Saturday, though he had done very little to affect the result of the game with a ball at his feet.
The striker was certainly able to have a huge influence on the game, but that was thanks to his aggressive and destructive nature rather than any footballing ability. So do English fans condemn their own players when they cheat?
“Today not at all,” Mertesacker answered. “Today (Diego Costa) was seen off with standing ovations from his own fans and that shows that rivalry is more important than what’s happening on the pitch at that moment.
“That hurt a lot because that isn’t fair, let alone a show of respect and these, simply, are things football should stand for.
“That’s why I don’t want anything to do with this sort of things and I just hope that it gets punished because the possibilities are there retrospectively and the guy has been punished now and then but he simply doesn’t change.
“I just hope that the right conclusions are drawn from this because it’s simple… there are several offences after one another and it’s easy, really, to make a sensible decision in retrospect now.”
Chelsea clearly acted horrifically on Saturday, with Diego Costa at centre stage. The striker has been charged by the FA for violent conduct after twice slapping Laurent Koscielny in the face but he also dived, scratched Gabriel and kicked Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. What about those offences?
Each week, he gets away with being overly aggressive in an attempt to intimidate the opposition. On Saturday, Arsenal lost a player because he dared confront someone for hitting his team-mate.
You can’t win and, as Per suggests, the referees must start acting because Costa gets away with it far too often.