I’m happy I don’t play against Costa, admits Chelsea ace Hazard

The Spain international may miss Saturday’s crunch clash with Premier League title rivals Manchester City after being charged for appearing to stamp on Emre Can

Eden Hazard admits that he is happy he doesn’t have to play against Chelsea team-mate Diego Costa, as the fallout from the striker’s controversial performance against Liverpool continues.

Costa appeared to stamp on Emre Can and Martin Skrtel in separate incidents during Tuesday’s stormy League Cup semi-final second-leg clash with Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, but escaped punishment from referee Michael Oliver.

The Football Association (FA) has since charged the Spain international with violent conduct in relation to the Can incident, putting Chelsea at risk of losing their top scorer for Saturday’s crunch clash with Premier League title rivals Manchester City at Stamford Bridge.

However, Hazard insists he admires Costa’s commitment on the pitch and believes he is lucky to have him as a team-mate.

“Diego motivates us all,” the Belgian told reporters after Chelsea’s extra-time victory. “When you play with this guy, you have to give everything. You can see in every action and for every ball, he gives his life.

“Even if he does not score, he gives his life. For us, for the players, when you play with him, it’s very good.

“In training he is different. But in games he is very good. He never stops. He had a very good mentality against Liverpool.

“Every team and every player knows Diego now. He got one yellow card. But we need him because he can score every minute, every second of every game.

“I don’t know if I would hate to play against him. I play with him, and I’m happy with that. I’m lucky.”

Chelsea are currently five points clear of nearest rivals City at the top of the Premier League table. 

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