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Why i ignored Diego Costa’s request – Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte told Diego Costa there’s only room for one gaffer at Chelsea – after the striker threw a major strop in the 3-0 victory over Leicester.

Costa, who put the Blues on the road to victory before Eden Hazard and Victor Moses joined him on the scoresheet, signalled to the bench that he wanted to be substituted midway through the second half.

He was only one booking away from being suspended for Jose ­Mourinho’s return with Manchester United, a week today, and was also touching a hamstring later in the game, and he didn’t want to risk missing that match.

But Conte, 47, refused to take him off and, when Costa realised he’d be staying on, he made his fury clear by gesticulating frantically towards his manager.

“Conte said: “I decided. Always I take the responsibility in every ­situation, in positive or negative ­situations.

“It’s always my decision whether or not a player is substituted. If I can, I keep Costa until the end of the game.

“He is an important player for us. He has a good personality and ­transfers his passion, and we need that passion in every moment of the game.

“I know I risked it because, if Costa took another yellow card, he would miss the next game.

“I know I risked it because, if Costa took another yellow card, he would miss the next game.

“But, I repeat, Costa’s passion is important for the team. He must transfer this in every game and in every single minute of the game.”

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