Blues legend jumps to defence of under-fire Chelsea striker

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink believes Diego Costa's stamp on Emre Can was unintentional.

Much has been made of Diego Costa's aggressive style of play this season and it became the main talking point of Chelsea's 1-0 Capital Cup win over Liverpool during the week.

The Spaniard appeared to stamp on both Emre Can and Martin Skrtel during the clash and only picked up a yellow card for his actions, a decision that left many spectators dumbfounded. 

Since then though, the FA have stepped in and decided to slap the 26-year-old with a three-match ban for the stamp on Can, and unsurprisingly the Chelsea star quickly appealed against the suspension.

Former Blues striker Hasselbaink, who scored 69 goals in 136 games for the club, has backed the £32 million man by saying he doesn't believe the stamps were intended.

He told talkSPORT: "I don't think it was a stamp because it went too fluently and his focus was only on the ball. Normally when you stamp on somebody you have a look that you want to hurt somebody and he didn’t have that.

"I know Costa is always playing on the edge, but I like that in him, and I have to give him the benefit of the doubt on this one."

Hasselbaink, now the manager at Burton Albion, did say that while he doesn't agree with all of Costa's actions, he does like physical forward's playing style.

He added: "Do I agree with everything Costa does? No, but I like his style and I like how he plays on the edge. Sometimes he goes a bit overboard but, as a manager now, I would take somebody with that kind of commitment. I don’t think he wanted to hurt Can on purpose."

Chelsea will likely be sweating over the verdict that will be announced at some stage today. Should Costa be found guilty then he will miss the tomorrow's match with Premier League champions Manchester City, as well as matches against Aston Villa and Everton.

Jose Mourinho will have veteran striker Didier Drogba and Frenchman Loic Remy to call-on as Costa's stand-in and while both are decent options, neither really possesses the prowess of the former Atletico Madrid man.

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