Chelsea striker Diego Costa has been retrospectively charged with violent conduct after attacking Arsenal defenders Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel Paulista during the Premier League game at Stamford Bridge. Referee Mike Dean did not include the incident in his post-match report, meaning the Football Association are free to take action after the event.
Costa was caught by television cameras twice hitting out at Koscielny and then scratching Gabriel, prior to the Brazilian centre-back being sent off for kicking the striker. Arsene Wenger called for action to be taken against Costa, who faces a three-game ban for the offences, but the manager himself has escaped punishment after criticising the leniency of Dean.
"Off-the-ball incidents that are not seen at the time by the match officials are referred to a panel of three former elite referees," an FA statement read. "Each referee panel member will review the video footage independently of one another to determine whether they consider it a sending-off offence. For retrospective action to be taken, and an FA charge to follow, the decision by the panel must be unanimous."
In addition, Arsenal defender Gabriel, whose dismissal will be appealed by the North London club, has been hit with a separate charge of improper conduct for confronting Costa after being sent off for retaliating to being goaded by the Spain international. Both clubs also faces fines after being charged with failing to control their players during Chelsea's 2-0 win. Santi Cazorla, dismissed in the second half following two yellow cards, has also been warned over his behaviour following his reaction to being sent off.
In an effort to fast-track the action against Costa to take effect in time for Chelsea's Capital One Cup third round tie at Walsall, the FA have given the player until 6pm on 22 September to respond to the charge. Paulista meanwhile, who is expected to be fined on top of his three-match ban, has until 6pm on 24 September to appeal the decision. Arsenal and Chelsea have been set the same deadline to reply to the charge against both sets of their players, who were involved in angry exchanges in the aftermath of Gabriel's sending off.
The FA tightened regulations during the off-season regarding the confrontation of referees, with fines between £20,000 and £30,000 now handed down to clubs when two or more players approach officials. The Premier League pair are set to become the first teams to be hit by the reinforced regulations.