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    Chelsea's Antonio Conte: Diego Costa Being Provoked By Opponents

                               Diego Costa scored both goals in Chelsea's 2-2 draw at Swansea on Sunday.
    Antonio Conte has pleaded with English referees to "permit Diego Costa to play his football" after the striker once again found himself the centre of attention in Chelsea's 2-2 draw with Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium.

    Costa scored two goals, earned his third booking of the season and became embroiled in a running battle with Jordi Amat as Swansea ended Conte's perfect start to life as Chelsea head coach, courtesy of a Gylfi Sigurdsson penalty and a controversial Leroy Fer goal.

    Amat was shown a yellow card in the 48th minute after a clash of heads with Costa -- who was fouled seven times during the match, more than any other player on the pitch -- and Conte believes Chelsea's opponents are deliberately targeting the fiery Spain international in the hope of getting him sent off.

    "If you ask me if the defender [Amat] deserved a second yellow card, I don't want to reply about this," Conte said at his postmatch news conference.

    "I will say only that after every game, the press ask me about the passion of Diego Costa, about his behaviour. Today I can say he had fantastic behaviour to control the situation, because he took a lot of kicks from the first minute until the end of the game.

    "I'm pleased because he showed me, he showed his teammates and he showed everyone that he had fantastic behaviour, and it wasn't easy.

    "I think that defenders know him and sometimes try to provoke him. I was a footballer and this situation is normal.

    "You know that Diego is a player with great passion and they try to provoke. This is football, not only in England, not only with Diego, but in general in the world. But I also think that referees must see and permit Diego to play his football."

    Asked about Costa after the match, Swansea City manager Francesco Guidolin added: "Diego Costa is a strong player because he is able to play alone against three or four defenders. He's a champion. A strong striker, a fighter, one of the best strikers in the world for me."

    Conte's disappointment at dropping two Premier League points was compounded by a late injury to captain John Terry, who finished the match in agony after appearing to turn his ankle in the closing minutes and left the Liberty Stadium on crutches.

    Deadline-day signing David Luiz could be in line to make his Chelsea return against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Friday if Terry does not recover in time, but Conte admitted the severity of his captain's problem is not yet clear.

    "I don't know [the extent of the injury]," Conte said of Terry. "Tomorrow we will see the situation about his ankle, but he is a warrior. I'm not worried."
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