Diego Costa has “expressed regret” about his confrontation with Gareth Barry but says he did not bite the Everton midfielder, a Chelsea spokesman has said.
The Spain international was sent off late in Chelsea’s 2-0 FA quarter-final defeat at Goodison Park after clashing with Barry, who was also sent off moments later for his second booking after fouling Cesc Fabregas.
Television replays suggested Costa thought about biting his opponent, before thinking better of it at the last second.
Interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink said in his post-match conference he would reserve judgement on the incident until he has had chance to see it for himself, though the Dutchman said Everton’s players “went after” Costa during the game.
Everton boss Roberto Martinez played down the incident, while the Football Association said it would wait for referee Michael Oliver’s report before a decision would be made about any possible action.
Chelsea later issued a statement on the club’s official Twitter account insisting the forward had not bitten Barry.
A club spokesman said: “Diego spoke to club officials after the game and expressed regret over his reaction to the challenge from Gareth Barry that led to his red card, but Diego was also very clear that he did not bite him at any point during that altercation.”