Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista failed to make contact with Diego Costa when appearing to kick out at the Chelsea striker, new video evidence has revealed. Material from ESPN Brazil shows the centre-back flick out at Costa but not make contact with the Spanish international.
Referee Mike Dean showed Gabriel a straight red card for the kick which has since been rescinded by The Football Association, making the Brazilian available for the Capital One Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur. The Mirror understands the Gunners used new video evidence to win an appeal.
The new angle of the incident works to explain the reason for The FA siding with Arsenal in their plea, with video footage until now incriminating Gabriel, who had already been booked after a fracas with Costa. The FA will tonight [22 September] hear Chelsea's appeal against the charge of violent conduct against Costa, a punishment which carries a minimum three-game ban, ahead of the League Cup tie against Walsall at the Bescot Stadium.
Though new evidence is likely to have influenced The FA's decision to overturn the imminent three-game ban against Gabriel, who faces an improper conduct charge following his reaction to being dismissed, the decision is nevertheless curious given that the player did attempt to kick-out at the Chelsea forward. Furthermore, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was fuming with him following the game after he reacted to being goaded by Costa.
"We warn the players not to get involved and I don't understand Gabriel because he usually looks a calm boy," the Arsenal manager said, according to The Daily Telegraph. "For me, it is not difficult to stay calm. No. You have to be above that. That's part of the game.
"To be professional, to me, is to deal with that. You can spit in my face and if it's in a game then I will not respond. I do not guarantee that outside of the game. What I mean is that the desire to win has to be above all of that."