The Brazil-born Spain international returned from a three-match suspension for stamping on Liverpool’s Emre Can last week, a penalty imposed on video evidence after a media outcry.


“I’m never going to change the way I play. That’s what got me here, that’s the way I play,” Costa, who denied his stamp was deliberate, told reporters after training this week for Sunday’s League Cup final against Tottenham Hotspur.

The burly striker is Chelsea’s top scorer this season and likely to start at Wembley even though he is still not back to peak fitness following the ban. “I’m running a little bit behind, trying to do my best, working hard and hopefully I’ll be 100 percent,” he said.

Manager Jose Mourinho has suggested Costa and his team mates are victims of an anti-Chelsea campaign and consequently have not been treated equally with players from other teams.

Costa said: “I do know now that I have to be a little bit more careful because it’s not the same when I do something or when someone else does it. Something I do, it’s talked about much more than another player. I have to be extra careful…

“After last season, I had a few injuries and when I was on top form, when I was at my best, I had that suspension and I still don’t even know why it happened.”

Costa has scored 17 goals in 20 games for Chelsea after joining from Atletico Madrid this season, but they have all come in the Premier League rather than cups.

“I don’t pick tournaments to score, or rivals or other teams to score against. I’m a striker, every game I play I want to score. If it hasn’t happened in the cup, I’m hoping to God it happens on Sunday.”

He said he was delighted to be playing at Wembley, host of many historic games and prestigious players. More importantly the final represented Chelsea’s first bite at silverware this season. They are five points ahead of Manchester City in the title race and still in the Champions League.

“It’s an important game whatever way you look at it. What gives it more importance is it’s my first final at the club. So I will go in with the mentality and have the motivation to come away with the title.”

(Reporting by Clare Lovell, editing by Pritha Sarkar)