The FA announced Tuesday that Arsenal Striker Gabriel Paulista would have his red card rescinded and his three game ban lifted for his part in the Diego Costa Laurent Koscielny altercation.
Diego Costa was well, being Diego Costa, during off the ball action in the Chelsea vs. Arsenal match-up, covering the face of Koscielny before throwing a few errant elbows at the Arsenal man’s head. Gabriel Paulista stepped in, either because he knew Koscielny was not going to challenge Costa, or because as a Brazilian who has enough pride to play for his national team rather than jump ship for Spain Paulista already had a bit of a bone to pick with Costa.
Costa is notorious for his ability to get under the skin of defenders which may have helped Paulista to get the decision overturned. Reports say that during the appeal process Arsenal and Paulista presented a detailed outline of Costa’s transgressions throughout the game which included: Waving an imaginary card towards Francis Coquelin, raking Laurent Koscielny in the face, and wrestling with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Another key piece of evidence is that Arsenal provided video evidence that Paulista’s heel kick (which is why the red-card was presented to him) never came close to making contact with Costa, although during the match Costa screamed foul further prompting Mike Dean.
Costa was denied appeal and will serve a three match ban for his antics, not good news for Chelsea whose manager may also be kept from the sideline. Paulista isn’t necessarily off the hook either, the FA is still holding him accountable for not leaving the field of play immediately after being shown the card.
The extreme short-end of the stick goes to Mike Dean, who after having his call overturned will most likely be demoted from the Premier League.