Jose defends Costa and hails Blues fans

Jose Mourinho hailed Chelsea’s fans and defended Diego Costa after an action-packed Capital One Cup semi-final triumph against Liverpool.

Costa appeared to stamp on Reds duo Emre Can and Martin Skrtel during the second leg at Stamford Bridge, where Branislav Ivanovic’s extra-time header clinched Chelsea’s place at Wembley.

The Blues boss insisted the incidents involving Costa were “accidental” and that there was a “campaign” against the striker by a Sky Sports pundit, whom Mourinho refused to name.

Mourinho added that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who also condemned Costa’s actions, was “a very different person” to the Portuguese despite the fact they had previously worked together at Chelsea.

And Mourinho, whose team were humbled by League One Bradford in the FA Cup at the weekend, dedicated Tuesday night’s triumph to the Chelsea faithful.

Ivanovic's extra-time header clinched victory for Chelsea
Ivanovic’s extra-time header clinched victory for Chelsea

“Chelsea supporters were fantastic. The victory is for them,” he declared.

“The defeat of last week is for us, not the supporters. It is our history, our shame.

“Today is for the supporters, who were fantastic – let’s go to Wembley.”

Chelsea twice felt they should have been awarded a penalty in a frenetic first half.

They also had to overcome a spell of Liverpool pressure during which home keeper Thibaut Courtois made key saves.

“It was a big semi-final – two big games,” Mourinho said.

“Speaking about this one, really both teams were at the limit and the result speaks by itself.

“We had difficult moments in the first half. Liverpool were better than us and creating chances. We coped with that and were patient.

“In the second half we should have scored and when we did score a goal in extra time the team showed maturity and control.

“It was a big game, a big experience and we played against a very good team.”

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