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Published: 08:36 | 16/8/16

Bilic: Costa could have seen red


West Ham manager Slaven Bilic believes Diego Costa should have received a second yellow card before scoring Chelsea's winning goal at Stamford Bridge.

Costa netted in the 89th minute to hand Chelsea a 2-1 lead in their Premier League opener but the striker was lucky to still be on the pitch following a reckless challenge on Hammers goalkeeper Adrian.

Having picked up a yellow card for dissent, the Blues striker looked to be facing an early bath when he lunged at Adrian in the 67th minute. However, referee Anthony Taylor opted not to take any action and Costa was allowed to play on.

While Bilic believes the Spain international should have seen red, the West Ham manager was more concerned by his side's inability to hold on for the point.

"It was late - very late - and nine times out of 10 when you see that challenge on a goalkeeper, it ends up with a booking," Bilic explained.

"Unfortunately this was the 10th time, but I'm more interested in talking about the game than Diego Costa.

"From my point of view I've seen the incident again and I don't think Costa was reckless. It was not a reckless or deliberate one but it was quite late, the ball had gone. He could have been booked again and so a red card.

"But I am not frustrated because of that, I am frustrated because of the late goal. When you lose a game and concede late, of course you are disappointed.

"We came back into the game, we played well after 1-1 but we made the mistake in the middle of the park. We gave the ball away and conceded a cheap goal."

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte defended his player when it was suggested that he was lucky to remain on the pitch.

"I must be honest Diego tried to put pressure on Adrian, and then before the contact he stopped," said Conte.

"And then for this reason I think that the referee took the right decision.

"We know Diego is a passionate man, and he puts passion into everything he does.

"And he showed he will run for everything.

"But in this situation I must be honest I think that the referee took the right decision."

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