Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has suggested that Premier League officials are working to an alternative agenda when they are making judgement on his striker Diego Costa.
Mourinho responded to suggestions that Costa was being unfairly treated by referees following the incident when he appeared to be elbowed by Manchester City's Fernandinho during last Sunday's game at the Etihad Stadium.
While City midfielder was booked for the clash on the stroke of half-time in a game that finished in a 3-0 win for the home side, Mourinho suspects the outcome may have been different if the roles had been reversed.
"I can guarantee you if it's Diego Costa that does that [challenge on Fernandinho], I can guarantee you red card. If not red card, video footage [after the match] and suspension. I can guarantee that, for sure," Mourinho told Sunday newspaper journalists.
The Chelsea boss went on to argue Costa did not merit a reputation for being something of a firebrand on the field, as he was keen to point out that the Spain forward has improved his demeanour in recent months.
"We are speaking about reputation, but what I see game after game is more of the same," he continued. "It's him doing his job and no more than that.
"I think enough time [has passed] to forget his reputation, because tell me when was the last time something happened.
"I don't think he's too physical. At least his skull is not very strong. Because boom... but Fernandinho is fine."
Mourinho went on to claim he is attempting to follow Premier League guidelines that have encouraged managers to be more respectful to match officials on the touchline, even though he suggested it made it different to express views when he had grievances to express.
"What can you do," he asked. "The referees, they have the power to analyse and to decide. What can you do? We can do nothing.
"We were told to behave in the technical area, for not to complain, for not have gestures, for not to have contact with other assistants outside the bench. We were told that, and we are doing that."