Captain Troy Deeney says Watford “will have a word” with Juan Carlos Paredes after taking a dim view of his petty clash with Diego Costa.
Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink also hit out at Paredes for trying to get Costa sent off in Wednesday night’s goalless draw at Vicarage Road.
Full-back Paredes and Costa were involved in a petty exchange which saw both players booked by referee Mike Dean for their amateur dramatics.
Hiddink felt Paredes was trying to antagonise his short-tempered striker, while Deeney also condemned the clash.
“It’s new-age football,” Deeney said on BT Sport 1. “There’s a little touch and everyone’s rolling around. It’s just handbags. In Sunday League that wouldn’t happen because you’d be laughed at.
“I don’t like to see it, and we’ll have a word with Paredes on our side.”
Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores, who managed Costa at Atletico Madrid, spoke to the striker at the end of the game.
Asked what he had said, the Hornets boss said: “That I love him.”
On the incident, he added: “Contact in the Premier League is very normal. This kind of player always is looking to find contact in every single challenge.
“Paredes resisted very well. He tried to play, he tried to defend very well.
“It’s nothing new. I understand Costa because I coached Costa and every single play he wants to challenge them.
“Paredes was very hard, very strong also, but nothing happened. Nothing strange.”
Hiddink praised Costa for keeping his cool.
“There was no need to calm him down,” Hiddink said.
“At half-time he was very controlled. He said I’ll go and focus on what I have to do.”
Costa came close to winning the contest for Chelsea, but saw his 88th-minute header saved by Heurelho Gomes.
Hiddink, who managed Gomes at PSV Eindhoven, said: “Gomes was man of the match and I think he highly deserves it.
“He made some tremendous saves in the last period of the game in which we were threatening to go for the win.
“We deserved to win. We would’ve loved to have had the three points here.”