Conte takes a stand: as Costa tries to boss manager around.


Graeme Souness believes Diego Costa was overly aggressive towards Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte when he seemed to request to be substituted against Leicester City on Saturday.

Costa, who would have missed next Sunday's meeting with Man Utd had he picked up a fifth booking of the season, appeared to gesture to the bench in the second half of Chelsea's 3-0 victory over the defending champions.

Conte confirmed after the match he ignored Costa's plea because he preferred to focus on Leicester rather than look ahead to the Super Sunday clash, and Souness felt the striker was too forceful in his approach.

"He was a bit aggressive towards his coach, unnecessarily so," Souness told Sky Sports. "He [Conte] is the boss, not Diego.

"He is saying 'I can't trust myself to be on, so get me off'. Just go through the game and don't get involved.

"I don't believe anyone should talk to the manager like that. That's a tad aggressive, for me, from a player."

Costa opened the scoring at Stamford Bridge with his seventh league goal of the season, setting Chelsea on their way to a comfortable win over Claudio Ranieri's side.

Former Chelsea forward Gianluca Vialli agreed with Souness, but said emotions can occasionally get the better of players in the heat of the moment.

"I think sometimes we need to understand players when they are on the pitch because it is a theatre, there's pressure, you feel exposed and emotions can run," he added.

"I can understand sometimes you have a go at a manager but what I didn't like, and I think Antonio liked even less, was the fact it was not a second or two, which could be understandable, but it went on and on for 20 or 30 seconds.

"That's too much and I'm sure Antonio will do something about it.

"You play one match at a time and to finish the match well was paramount for Antonio so he left Diego on the pitch because he thinks he's an emotional leader."

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