It was one of the biggest talking points of this season, but Arsenal defender Gabriel insists his clash with Diego Costa was blown out of proportion.
Gabriel was sent off for appearing to kick out at Costa in a match between Chelsea and Arsenal earlier this season, following an afternoon of aggressive challenges and dirty tricks from the Blues forward.
Costa was subsequently handed a retrospective ban by the FA for his part in the chaotic scenes, with Gabriel’s dismissal rescinded.
And the Gunners centre-back is adamant that he holds no grudges against Costa, despite also clashing with the front man during their respective spells at Villarreal and Atletico Madrid, and believes that the Spain international is a ‘good person’.
He said via the Evening Standard:
“As for Costa, it was an affectionate exchange! It’s something that happens in a football match. It was in the moment.
“We have turned that page. I was in the Brazil squad with Filipe Luis and those two are good friends. I sent him [Costa] a voice message as a friend.
“We are good friends. It’s something that happens on the pitch and it is passed. Diego is a good person.”
“That’s how I am. I will always stand up for the ones I love.
“We have affection for our team mates because we spend most of our time with them.
“Sometimes we spend more time with our team-mates than our families.
“This is my instinct I always stand up for my team-mates. That’s who I am.”
Chelsea won the afore mentioned match 2-0 but Gabriel and his team-mates will be looking for revenge when the two sides meet again on January 24.